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Guatemala NEWSLETTER DON DIEGO HO
ww w. adrenali
Luna de Miel Guatemala
Op reis met Thijs
No. 05 January - February 2014
Servicios turisticos Centro America S.A.
Photografia por chris”topher”
SERVICIOS TURISTICOS C.A.
CACAO IN GUATEMALA By Manuel Guillen
The seed comes from a tree called Madre Cacao, Mother Cocoa. The scientific name is Theobroma cacao, which means food of the gods, and was given by the Swedish Carl Von Linee.
the Mayan words Ka’Kau ‘, and according to the Mayan mythology it was Hunahpu who gave cacao to the Maya after man was created from corn by grandmother Ixmucané.
This plant is native to America, although there are some doubts about its specific origin, as some claim that it was first used in South America and others that in Central America.
The product obtained from the processing the cocoa beans is called chocolate, and it may be in liquid or solid form.
The evidence supporting these statements are whole kernels found in Uaxactún and fragments of the wood of the tree found in Chocolá and Takalik Abaj (both findings in Guatemala). The word Cacao comes from
The Mayans drank the chocolate hot and foamy thanks to the use of a wooden frother, and created various mixtures in which they used vanilla, corn, chili, achiote, a variety of flowers, and even honey. The Mayans also used the cocoa as a currency during the post classical period, merchants exchanging it for jade, obsidian, and ceremonial
feathers. Cocoa is not only considered food, like any other, as it has been of great importance throughout history.
introduced to the Spanish court of Prince Felipe, and then the first load arrived in Seville in 1585.
In Guatemala it has been declared the Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Nation.
A century later medical and culinary uses of chocolate had conquered France, England, and all of Europe.
It is said that the first Spanish to get to know cacao was Christopher Columbus in the year 1502, when they approached the Guanajá island off the coast of Honduras, but the first person to actually try it was Hernan Cortez.
At present this drink is consumed by the Guatemalan population preserving the recipe that has been handed down from generation to generation, the places standing out in its preparation being Mixco and Quetzaltenango.
At first, the Spanish did not like it much according to the writings of Friar José de Acosta, but nevertheless it was brought to Europe, first to Spain where it was
And it is consumed all over the world in various forms and in large quantities.
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OUR RESPONSIBILITY SOCIAL
2014 Chancol – Chiantla – Huehuetenango – Guatemala
In many villages in rural Guatemala children suffer the consequences of poor public education, a lack of recreational activities and migration to the United States, causing their families and cultural identity to break down. Youngsters are being stigmatized as trouble, there is gender discrimination and there is a high incidence of unwanted (teenage) pregnancies. These and many other elements strongly affect the harmonious development of individuals and communities. Faced with this reality, three years ago, a number of youngster from Chancol got together with the aim of “doing something”.
Together with Unicornio Azul, a guest house located in Chancol, they decided to create a library. It was set up in a room provided by the local community, and volunteers took turns in opening it to the public several times a week. For two years, the library and toy library relied on the donation of books (including a significant donation by Adrenalina Tours) and educational games. In 2013, the library had to leave the community building. The volunteers behind the project were in dire need to build their own library. In order not to see this promising project come to an end, Adrenalina Tours decided to fund the purchase of half of the building materials for the
new library. Guest house Unicorno Azul provided a site for the new building and took charge of its construction. Soon after, a librarian a member of the local community - was hired, thanks to another donation. He is part of a network of librarians who get training by “Child Aid”. By supporting this project, Adrenalina Tours actively contributes to the education and welfare of children, youngsters and adults from Chancol and its neighbouring communities. The library, toy library and cultural center can potentially reach out to some 10,000 people.
Photografia por Harry Diaz
SERVICIOS TURISTICOS C.A.
PATRONAL FAIRS By Jorge Soch
My grandfather used to say “ if you want to know somebody, look at how they celebrate “. That is valid both for individuals and for communities, and because of this, there is no better way to get to know this country, than through its patronal fairs.
If you make a tour to a fair you should not miss the food stalls, where you always find the traditional crazy corn (spicy corn cobs), grenache , churros (serpents of friend dough), apples with syrup, and also buñuelos (mini donuts), and muffins.
If we look at all Guatemala, there are 2 or 3 fairs every week in some part of the country in honor of a Christian saint or as a result of a Maya -Christian mix.
The favorite drinks offered are the milk and fruit punches with or without pickete (with or without liquor).
But what are these patronal fairs? The fairs offer religious ceremonies accompanied by the pomp of the event, which involves hundreds or thousands of people depending on the region where it is held, but the charm of it is qualified with a myriad of colors and flavors that accompany these acts.
The children also have lots of fun at these fairs, they enjoy the carnival rides like the Ferris wheel, the crazy carts and the carousels. These fairs are the most ancestral manifestations organized by the Guatemalans since the seventeenth century. Let’s take for example the patronal fair of Quetzaltenango in honor of the Virgen del Rosario.
The Virgin of the Rosary, is so closely linked to the name of the city, that you can not mention one without associating it with the other. The feeling of worship, respect and admiration for this spiritual patron is so deeply rooted in the people of Quetzaltenango, that the Virgin of the Rosary is the strongest, most significant and most ancient religious and cultural value of the town. This is proved by the fervor that brings together thousands of people in the processions, the concerts held in her honor and of course the miraculous legends of this patron including:
IT WAS HER! It was in 1849 when Rafael Carrera made the second invasion of the highlands (Quetzaltenango) that
a few miles before getting into the town he was surprised by an elegant lady, who asked him to please do not slaughter the people. She managed to convince him to meet her in the church of the Holy Spirit when he made his arrival in the city. Carrera ordered that the soldiers give a horse to the beautiful lady, but she disappeared. Upon reaching the city, Carrera got angry because he did not find the lady he saw on the way, but he was greatly astonished when he saw an altar and realized that she was the Mother of God. Every corner of Guatemala is full of folklore, like fairs in her honor, no matter what time you are in the country, there will certainly be a patronal fair somewhere. If you get a chance check it out and enjoy it, and do not forget to ask your punch with pickete.
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NAHUALA By: Diego Tzag
Nahualá is a municipality in western Guatemala in the department of Solola, that was founded in the early colonial period. Its name derives from the Nahuatl nahual - Ja’, which means Water Spirit. This place is known for its traditional costumes: the men wear a handmade red or white shirt, a wool kilt and for covering the head an embroidered wraparound, and the women a woven blouse embroidered
in purple or red, a black skirt with embroidery and a belt embroidered with several figures. One of the attractions of this place is its handicraft, hand-made embroideries of well known figures like the two-headed eagle, birds and snakes used as centerpieces for tables, scarves or just as decoration in the house, where this type of craft is unique in Guatemala. They also make wood crafts of different figures
and sizes. Its colonial style Catholic church is also of the attractions of this place. Nahualá is rich in nature, has a recreation center where the visitors can take a break and enjoy the view of the town and its surroundings. Afterwards one can head towards the summit of Alaska, where the men can be seen working with the famous
grinding stones, a tool used by the women who cook the corn and then prepare it to transfer it into delicious tortillas. Finally one should not forget to taste the delicious Caldo de Res en Jocom, the typical food of this place accompanied by tamales prepared in banana leaves. A visit to this town is without a doubt unforgettable.
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