My name is Amanda Muñoz and I'm so excited to introduce you to the beautiful country of Guatemala! My husband and I are missionaries here and for the past 7 months, we have made Guatemala our home.
With year around spring-like weather, jaw-dropping sites, and rich culture, Guatemala is truly one of a kind. I believe you can tell a lot about a country and its culture by the places, food, and people.
I can't possibly fit all of Guatemala into one blog post, but I hope this gives you a good introduction to this country we love.
Starting with the capital, Guatemala City is a bustling, large city. In fact, it's the largest city in Central America! The city gives off a modern vibe while still keeping its cultural roots.
And that spring-like weather I mentioned? Guatemala is known as the "Land of the Eternal Spring" and it truly is that. It's perfect for strolling around some of the cutest plaza's
and eating outside at a local cafe!
About an hour away from the City is Guatemala's oldest city. If there were ever a city that fits its namesake, it's Antigua. Meaning "Antique" or "old," Antigua makes you feel like you're walking back into time.
This touristy town is home to some gorgeous architecture and amazing views. And the dated cobblestone streets are just as charming as it's colonial-style buildings.
With beautiful scenery, plenty of shopping, and delicious eateries…Antigua has it all.
A little further west of both Guatemala City and Antigua, you'll find Lake Atitlan, in the Western Highlands. Surrounded by three volcanoes and many little Mayan towns, Lake Atitlan will be sure to take your breath away.
If you're looking for a destination to just unwind and enjoy nature, this is the place! Visit the touristy town of Panajachel, go "off the grid" in The Yoga Forest
, or take a boat ride to San Pedro La Laguna to eat the most delicious chocolate stuffed bread ever.
Other popular spots worth seeing are the ruins of Tikal
and the beaches of Izabal
that my husband and I have been eyeing lately. Can't wait to visit these places!
As with any place, trying the local food is half the fun. We've enjoyed trying the different street food, but I think we've found our favorite dish: Guatemalan Enchiladas. They are a must try when visiting the country!
You may be thinking of a rolled tortilla stuffed with meat, creamy cheese, and that delicious sauce on top. While those enchiladas are good, those belong to Mexico.
Guatemalan style is very different. Instead of a rolled tortilla, think fried and flat.
Instead of everything stuffed inside, it's piled on top.
And the star of show? Beets. Honestly, the first time I had a beet was when I had my first Guatemalan enchilada. They add so much to this dish, both in flavor and color!
While I love exploring this beautiful country and trying its delicacies, the most important part (and reason why we're here) is its people.
My husband and I primarily work in the villages and depending on what part of Guatemala you are in, you're likely to run into villagers from Mayan decent. These people have a specific look and dress that sets them apart. But whether they are Mayan or not, most villagers have a tough life. Our job here is to help them obtain a better life, both spiritually and physically.
They are such luvvly people and this country would not be as beautiful without them.
Guatemala certainly has a lot to offer and I count myself blessed to live here.
Whether you're planning your next vacation or mission trip, keep Guatemala in mind...it may just become your favorite place!