Thursday, November 12, 2009

¡Hola Guatemala!

S
o you want to know why am I going to Guatemala? Simple answer. Because I want to experience a very special event and to explore a country that I know almost nothing about.

Every now and again, I troll through travel websites. On one of my surfing expeditions, I came across web article on the Semana Santa (Holy Week) celebrations that take place each year in Spain, Mexico and Latin America. I had always wanted to go to an Easter celebration but Mardi Gras in New Orleans and Carnivale in Rio de Janeiro somehow never appealed to me.....I think they're a bit too pageant-y or glitzy for my taste. I know those aren't exactly Easter week celebrations but still, not really my cup of tea. I wanted to experience the true religious celebration.
Though I love, love, love Spain, going there for Easter week was out of the question. If I went to Spain, I'd want to go later in the year, when it's warmer and I would definitely want to stay longer. Mexico was a possibility but I've already been to Mexico so I put Mexico on my *Plan B* list. That left Latin America....a lot of places I have not been to so a lot of choices.

I did a bit more research and I learned that the biggest Semana Santa celebration, in Latin America, is held each year in....of all places, Guatemala! Who would have guessed Guatemala? More specifically, it's a small town called Antigua that hosts the annual celebration. I did more reading about Semana Santa and Antigua and before long, I had decided that I must experience Holy Week in Antigua.

Of course, Guatemala is also home to Tikal....one of the most famous Mayan archeological sites in all of the Americas. I simply cannot go to Guatemala and not visit Tikal. It would be crime against cultural heritage to not visit this world famous site.

So, with at least two destinations in mind, the trip planning now begins. Easter is still a few months away but you know how time flies so off I go to do a lot more reading!!
Guatemala, here I come!