Antigua
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June-August 2004

We came to Antigua for a week, but we stayed for the summer.  

This is Parque Central on a Sunday afternoon.  Much of what happens in Antigua begins in Parque Central.  It is a common meeting place for friends, a convenient short cut to anywhere in the city, a great place to look at whatever kinds of people you prefer.  

Parque Central
The Fountain at Parque Central This is the central fountain in the Parque Central.  It's our favorite fountain anywhere. There are four women, equally spaced around the fountain, water comes from all their breasts.  Pretty explicit for this catholic town.
One of many mariachi bands that plays in the Parque Central on Sundays Mariachi Band in Parque Central
Volcan Agua There are volcanoes all around Antigua, so there is a cool green checkerboard view from every street.
One of many ruined churches in Antigu.  Earthquakes are common here, so there are lots of buildings in various stages of ruin and repair. Iglesia Hermano Pedro
Bougainvilla at Hemano Pedro

Huipils (woven, embroidered, blouses) for sale in the Artisan's Market . Each huipil has a particular stylized pattern and design, and each design comes from a different pueblo or community. 

Mercado Artesino
Telas in the Mecado Artesino There is so much color in the Mercado Artesinos that it fills up our eyes
But I can't get enough of these colors; I go back again and again. Baby clothes in the Mercado Artesinos
The Bag Guy This man has the best bags in the city.  I covet the blue one in the center.
Can you say textiles? I am enchanted by all these fabrics.  These particular fabrics are hammocks. More fabrics
Old Chicken Busses Antigua Buses:  Serious, fabulous, busses. These amazing vehicles are 'chicken busses', the local transportation. Chicken busses are notorious all over Mexico and Central America, but we think they reach their full destiny as an art form here in Guatemala. They are called chicken busses because they are quite likely to transport a crate of chickens, a basket of crabs, whatever.  
Chicken busses  are generally old yellow school busses, painted with acrylics in bright Guatemalan colors.  Also, the two-person seats on each side have been removed and replaced with three-person seats on each side.  So the aisle on most chicken busses is about 8 inches wide, maybe almost wide enough for your hips, if you go in sideways. When there are three people in a seat, the person on the aisle has to stand up to let the oncoming passengers move back.  Its a total experience. Some Unpainted Busses
The Chicken Bus Fleet Chicken Busses usually have three men working them:  one driver, one money handler, and one 'caller?'  The driver drives the bus, a full time job.  The money handler works his way back and forth somehow along the aisle, squeezing between and among the seated and standing pasangers (remember there are 3-person seats on either side of the aisle).
The 'Caller?' stands on the front steps, calling out the destination, and inviting people aboard.  "Tigua, Tigua, Tigua', for Antigua, or, 'Guate, Guate, Guate', for Guatemala City. At certain stops, the Caller invites hawkers aboard to sell food, drink, ballpoint pens, Jesus or whatever.  The Caller might jump off the front steps and reboard the bus at the rear, recruiting passengers.  Often the Bus will stop and wait until there are enough fares to warrant continuing. Beautiful Chicken Busses
Antigua Bus Terminal This is the Bus Terminal in Antigua, a big open lot behind the Mercado.  You can catch your bus here, or on the street.
 

 

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Last modified: April 27, 2010