Walkabout: Travel Life and Photographs

Adventure to Tecpan

March 5, 2007 (Raquel)

Last Friday Andy had the opportunity to see the fruits of his labor. In the mornings Andy works at the school setting up computers to send to various schools and libraries. In a pickup loaded with computers, books, and five people he made the 7 hour roundtrip to a Pueblo called Totonicapan. I stayed in bed all day with a sick stomach. Andy said the trip was long but worth it because he was able to see how grateful the community was for the computers. Rigoberto, leader of Probigua, mentioned Andy’s work in the speech that he gave at a small ceremony at the community center. The ceremony was traditionally Mayan being held in front of a small, replicated temple with a fire made from brush, flowers, and candles. Many people bathed in the smoke of the fire to capture its energy and spirit.

During the weekend we stayed close to Antigua. On Sunday we took a trip to the ruins of Iximche near Tecpan. We  thought it would be easy to take the chicken bus since it wasn’t terribly far away and we feel comfortable with our public transportation skills. As usual the chicken bus was an adventure. Let me just say it was a good thing that Andy grabbed some extra money before we left.

We took off on my usual bus headed for Chimal. Once there we had to transfer to another bus where the ayudante was trying to overcharge us. While waiting for the bus to gas up, I remember thinking: Here we are two of 4 gringos on this hot, humid, very crowded, smelly bus in Guatemala with the spanglish rendition of Lady in Red (Bum I totally thought of you) blasting over the speakers. Andy and I also enjoyed Total Eclipse of the  Heart and I Don’t Wanna Lose Your Love Tonight? These buses are a part of Guatemala that can’t be replicated. Not knowing where exactly to get off for the ruins Andy and I had to practice our Spanish with the locals. Somehow we made it to our stop, but had to take a taxi to the ruins. Once at the ruins we paid the driver 25Q and another 50Q to enter the park. At this point Andy turned to me and said, “We aren’t going to have enough to get back Rach!” Rethinking our plan we decided that we could bet by as long as there weren’t any other surprises.

We spent a couple hours walking, climbing, and taking photos of the ruins. We had the chance to witness a Mayan ritual. A group of people were circled around an offering of flowers, candles, and various other items that were eventually lit on fire. Most men and some women were puffing on big cigars while listening to speeches given by a number of different people. As usual there were lots of firew orks, one that went of right by us making us jump. The Marimba and other native instruments filled the air as the people prayed and performed various rituals. This was another special experience to add to our list. Preparing ourselves for the trip home we jumped on a tuk-tuk and made it back to the highway to catch another chicken bus. I have never been on a bus with so many people! Andy and I couldn’t move let alone sit down! We stepped off the bus with  some change to spare and were more than happy to be back in Antigua. Our trip to Tecpan was truly a memorable one.