Amidst Piles of Freshness: Antigua Central Market, Guatemala

Antigua fresh market, a taste of local life.

As we take off for Central America (this time to Costa Rica), we think back to our first visit to the region a couple of years ago: Antigua, Guatemala.

Although Antigua has a reputation for being touristy, we found that it wasn't too difficult to get lost and find a slice of authentic Guatemalan life. One of our favorite places to do this: Antigua's central market.

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Visiting the Mayan Ruins of Tikal, Guatemala

Great Mayan ruins at Tikal, Guatemala.

Stand in the middle of the Grand Plaza between Temple I and Temple II at Tikal, Guatemala and imagine what life must have been like in this Mayan city over 1,200 years ago when Tikal was at its peak. The size of the temples and surrounding acropolis indicate that this must have been a rich and sophisticated city-state. Yet the ruins are only partially exposed and understood, as thick rain forest still covers most of the park.

And the grand mystery remains: Why was Tikal abandoned in 900 AD?

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The Golden Plantain Awards: Central America’s Best and Worst

Hondurans on Street Curb
Hanging out in Copan, Honduras.

As we close out our reflections on Central America (don't worry, food comes next), we are reminded of the places and moments — the good, the bad, the idiosyncratic, the illustrative — from our zigzag chicken bus journey across Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua.

Let's dig in.

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Central America: Immigration Stories

As we travel, it's common for locals the world over to ask us where we are from. In Asia, the response “The United States” was usually sufficient. In Europe, they didn't ask; they assumed.

Not so in Central America. People were curious to know the states and often the towns and cities where we grew up, where we have lived. After sharing our details, it wasn't uncommon to hear: “I had a cousin who lived there“, “Oh, I lived [nearby] for 15 years” or “My brother lives there.”

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