Antigua, Guatemala is more like an outdoor museum than a living city, overloaded with colonial Spanish architecture, yellow-ochre-blue walls, tiny specialty shops full of artwork, paintings and local jewelry, touristic but charming cafes serving quiche or dark chocolate drinks and dozens of old church ruins–and functioning ones as well–rough cobblestone roads constantly under repair, high-end and low-end hotels. It is clearly a destination place for locals and foreigners, for craftsmen, laborers, big spending visitors and Mayan vendors. At the core is Central Park with its dribbling mermaid fountain surrounded by palatial arcaded buildings, a downsized wedding-cake cathedral and horse-drawn carriage taxis. The whole place looks like a movie set for an Ivory-Merchant film of genteel by-gone Latin American life.

 

Guatamala Antigua 2012
Guatemala - Antigua - Entry to Cafe Condese on the
Guatemala - Antigua - Entry to Cafe Condese on the Central Plaza
Guatemala, Antigua - old church ruin
Guatemala, Antigua - old church ruin
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Nim Pot is a big arts and crafts store in
Nim Pot is a big arts and crafts store in Antigua featuring local artists
Nim Pot is a big arts and crafts store in
Nim Pot is a big arts and crafts store in Antigua featuring local artists
Gautemalan crafts
Gautemalan crafts
Mexican carnival figures
Mexican carnival figures
Along one wall in the Nim Pot store are strange
Along one wall in the Nim Pot store are strange 'primitive' style paintings on metal; these are from Mexico and are intended to hang in churches as thanksgiving prayers or prayers of request; each has a paragraph of text with the prayer. See next three photos for details.
Close-up of a panel showing two men embracing with gratitude
Close-up of a panel showing two men embracing with gratitude to St Jude Tadeo; the text reads (roughly): St. Jude, thanks for the blessing as given. After walking as a couple with Enrique, a boy from the capital, we got together with love in my house. I was alone and felt abused. Heavenly father appeared in my house in a storm at midnight. Oscar Mugos, Acapulco, Guerrero
Rough translation of the text: I give thanks to San Sebastian
Rough translation of the text: I give thanks to San Sebastian that I could reach in time to rescue my boyfriend who had gone to the steam room from an old pig after I gave the cinturoniza Skora I want more than ever I am very happy (?) Panchito Perez, Mexico City
Rough translation of the text: I give to the virgin of
Rough translation of the text: I give to the virgin of Guadalupe thanks for the time I arrived before the beggar priest raped my child during his confession. I ask God to punish this accursed priest. Anastasia Perez Castillo, Mexico City
Native impressionist art
Native impressionist art