I love that moment in the plane when you begin your final descent into a new country, that first glance down onto foreign soil. What are the colors? How is the light? What does the landscape look like? I’ll never forget watching the sunrise over the flat dusty plains as I touched down in Africa or seeing the Patagonian glaciers of Chile streaked in time. Looking at Guatemala from that little frame I was enchanted with the layers of volcanoes dancing along the horizon line of a setting sun.
It was just a weekend getaway, a short stop through Antigua, which was one of the most beautiful and romantic places I’ve ever seen. We didn’t have time to wander around but I will come back someday to photograph it and stay at the Meson Panza Verde which is heartbreakingly beautiful. We had a late dinner there on our last night in Guatemala in which I discovered its enchantment. From there we ventured around the lakeside town of Panajachel where the fashion accessory brand Mercado Global‘s design offices are located. The purpose of this trip was to discover the craftsmanship behind these artisanal bags. We spent a little time in Santiago Atitlan and in the hillside town of Santa Catarina Palapo where we slept in a dream villa.
I have many takeaways from Guatemala. The fruit is incredible. The people, so petite, are beautiful in their traditions they hold on to despite globalization. I loved comparing their dress to how the Peruvian women dress each in their specific way. The beautiful colors in their clothing are mimicked in the textiles of the market and lush nature landscape bursting with flowers in sherbet orange and hot fuchsia. As we wandered through the old colonial built towns there is the distinctive sound of women’s hands patting out corn tortillas, and I’ll never forget the way they tasted hot off the griddle. I loved how drivers would honk as a courtesy, a way to say thank you. Perhaps though, my favorite feature of this beautiful country are her volcanoes. It had not been since Bali that I found myself gazing upon such a scene. Every day is a new view, sometimes with smoke billowing out a top, sometimes in silhouette to a setting sun. I found them a constant reminder that the earth is alive beneath our feet and for the mere fact that I am standing in Guatemala, I realize I am alive too.
Above, visiting the popular and best coffee shop in the lake side town of Panajachel, Cafe Loco. The coffee made with coconut milk is AMAZING.
Above, ordering a Michelada from a street cart vender in the market. Michelada is a popular Latin American drink which is consists of mostly beer with tomato juice, lime juice, teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce. It’s kind of like a fizzy, lighter version of a Bloody Mary and perfect for sipping in the afternoon.
Above, Kelly explores a town square in KAELEN printed silk cotton bell sleeve shirt dress.
Below, in C.F. Goldman linen cuffed shirt dress.