Archive for September, 2009

Volcano Pacaya Overnight Hike

| by Aracely on September 30th, 2009 | 3 Comments » | Adventures, Central America, Guatemala

Volcano Pacaya at Sunrise

Volcano Pacaya at Sunrise

I’m sure the idea of camping overnight on the side of an active volcano may sound like a suicide adventure to some folks, but trust me, it sounds much more suicidal than it really is.  Pacaya is one of the most active volcanoes in Latin America but its activity is not extreme enough to keep most daily visitors away.  It’s proximity to Antigua makes it an ideal adventure for many travelers in Guatemala.

O.X. Outdoor Excursions is the only outfitter currently running overnight trips to Pacaya, and they organize multiple trips each week.  The cost is $59 USD which includes guide, shuttle, all camping equipment, warm clothing if needed, a tasty dinner with beverages and breakfast with bagels coffee and tea. (more…)

Climbing Volcano San Pedro - Episode 2

| by Aracely on September 26th, 2009 | 3 Comments » | Travel Videos

Click here to view in Mid-Def, High-Def, or Full HD

Our first destination was Guatemala. We originally planned to spend 2 weeks in Antigua taking Spanish lessons, but that quickly changed when we met Andy & Paulina from London. We decided to spend the next 10 days traveling with them. Only 3 days after beginning our trip we climbed Volcano San Pedro at Lake Atitlan. Read the accompanying blog or View photo gallery

Hard Working Children of Guatemala

| by Aracely on September 19th, 2009 | 9 Comments » | Central America, Guatemala, Reflections

I have only traveled to a few Latin American countries prior to arriving in Guatemala twenty-one days ago.  In 2003 I spent ten days in Costa Rica, in 2004 seventeen days in Ecuador (my country of origin), in 2008 eight days in Dominican Republic and in March of this year Jason and I spent six days on the Argentina/Brazil border for a visit to Iguazu Falls.

Shoe Shining Boy

Although those trips were relatively short and touristy, I feel as though I did get a glimpse, as small as it was, of the culture, people, and economic situation of those countries.  One notable and emotionally memorable observation for me was seeing children begging in the streets.  After spending twenty years living in the United States this is not something we are accustomed to seeing, or at least we can agree that it’s an extremely rare occurrence.

After visiting six towns in twenty-one days, I have yet to see one child begging in the streets of Guatemala.  I have only seen them working and they are all working very hard.  To clarify, when I say children I mean children of all ages from 4 and 5 year olds to pre-teens and up, all working.  They are selling everything from hand made bracelets, to hair products, to food; they are offering services from shoe shining to hair braiding.  With or without the help of an adult, these children are able to create honorable work out of the few resources they have.  I find that extremely impressive. (more…)

Leaving Hoboken - Episode 1

| by Jason on September 18th, 2009 | No Comments » | Travel Videos

Aracely and Jason capture their last few days in the United States before departing on their year long round the world trip. Hoboken, New Jersey is a vibrant town just on the other side of the Hudson River across from Manhattan. Both enjoyed sharing all that Hoboken has to offer with their friends for the past 3 years.

Semuc Champey

| by Aracely on September 9th, 2009 | 1 Comment » | Adventures, Central America, Guatemala

Semuch Champey from Lookout Deck

After a long and exhausting 10 hour bus ride from Panajachel, Guatemala we finally arrived in the small town of Lanquin, but without hostel reservations.  We were now traveling with Andy and Paulina, travelers from London we met a few days ago.  Our shuttle dropped us off at El Retiro Hostel where most of those that traveled in the shuttle with us were staying.  Luckily, as soon as we stepped off the van packed with tourists, we were approached by a man who showed us pictures of El Portal.  “It’s only meters from Semuc Champey,” he said.  “And a fifteen minute pickup truck ride from where you are right now.”  The pictures were of beautiful cabins in a jungle setting.  He quoted us Q40 (about $5) per person with a private bathroom.  Once we negotiated free transportation to the location we hopped in the back of his pickup truck for an exciting ride down a winding dirt road that led us further into the depths of the Guatemalan jungle.  After traversing a wooden bridge whose loose boards jolted when the heavy truck road over them, we arrived at El Portal. (more…)