El Lago Hermoso | The Beautiful Lake

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This weekend, I was able to take a break from my research and retreat to Lago Atitlán to enjoy the beautiful lake.

It’s rainy season here in Guatemala, which lasts every year from around May until September. Because of this, it was no surprise when it started to pour rain on the journey from Tecpán to Panajachel, a town on the lake. The visibility was only a few feet, and since the mountainous roads are already perilous enough as is, it was quite the adventure to get there.

From Panajachel, I took a small speed boat, called a lancha in Spanish, to the tiny lakeside town of Santa Cruz La Laguna. Santa Cruz is only accessible by boat or foot, because there are no roads leading to it. That said, it is a wonderful, peaceful oasis with gorgeous views.

I was lucky enough to have a group of friends from Georgetown meet me at the lake! They are all interning at Primeros Pasos, the clinic that I worked at last summer. It was nice to spend a few days with familiar faces, and we had a great time at the only hostel in town, La Iguana Perdida, eating a BBQ dinner, trying to avoid the spiders in our bunk beds, and waking up at the crack of dawn to watch the sunrise.

We left mid morning together, since we were all headed to Xela. We decided to take the adventurous route and ride the camionetas, or chicken buses, back. It was a long, winding, slightly harrowing experience, because the roads all run alongside of steep cliffs. We were quite proud of ourselves after reaching Xela, having taken four buses to arrive! I’ll be spending the next day and a half with friends and coworkers from my time here last summer, before my next case study site is ready to host me on Wednesday. Can’t believe I’m already one week in and so excited to see what this journey brings next!

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