• A family of worshipers during a clensing ceremony on the shores of Lake Chicabal. Photo: Santiago Billy/Comvite
    CultureFeatureFolklore
    Chicabal in Portraits
    Santiago Billy
    May 28, 2017
    0

    Every year, a very special ritual takes place by Lake Chicabal, the water-filled crater of Volcán Chicabal. Hundreds of people gather on its shores forty days after Holy Week to pray for rain.

    The Mam Maya people of Guatemala believe …

  • Lucero Batres, 11, walks across the beach while Nery Batres surfs on the waves. Photo: Santiago Billy/Comvite
    FeatureLifestyle
    The Surfing Youth of El Paredón
    Comvite
    May 11, 2017
    0

    When one thinks of Guatemala, one of the last things that one would image is surfing here. However, the way the waves pound the sand on the outskirts of El Paredón, a fishing village in Escuintla, makes it the perfect …

  • Carlos Chaclán poses for a portrait beside a wooden stool. Photo: Santiago Billy/Comvite
    Arts and CraftsCultureFeature
    Guatemala’s Clay Master
    Santiago Billy
    May 2, 2017
    0

    An American writer once pointed out that there are two kinds of artists in the microcosm of sculpting. There are those who subtract, starting with a beautiful block of stone and chipping away until it results in some marvellous shape. …

  • A man in San Andrés Sajcabajá carries a wooden cross, his legs are tied with ancient shackles. Photo: Santiago Billy/Comvite
    FeatureFolklore
    Looking Back at Semana Santa
    Comvite
    April 18, 2017
    0

    Semana Santa in Guatemala, the Holy Week leading up to Easter, is unarguably one of Central America’s most well-known celebrations. The grand processions on top of all of the beautiful flower and sawdust carpets during this time of the year …

  • Faifull use colorful dresses in during the Holy Burial procession in Santiago Atitlán. Photo: Anna Watts/Comvite
    Folklore
    Pinhole: Jesus and Maximón Dance Together
    Anna Watts
    April 16, 2017
    0

    Faces peer out of windows, doorways, rooftops and street corners. Feet line up almost every square foot of space available on the edges of Santiago Atitlán’s incense-infused cobbled streets. From great-grandparents to newborn babies, almost everyone has arrived to watch …

  • Two fighters trade punches in Chivarrerto’s ring. Photo: Jeff Abbott/Comvite
    FeatureFolklore
    The Annual Purge of Chivarreto (sort of)
    Jeff Abbott
    April 15, 2017
    0

    Each year, spectators descend upon the quiet farming town of Chivarreto, in the municipality of San Francisco el Alto for one of Semana Santa’s most unique events: bareknuckle boxing, or Pelea a puño limpio (Fight with a clean fist). The …

  • Luis Palaj hits faithfull with his blunt sword. Photo: Santiago Billy/Comvite
    FeatureFolklore
    Let the Games Begin!
    Comvite
    April 14, 2017
    0

    So, this is a thing. In the small town of Chocolá, located about 136km west of La Antigua Guatemala in the Guatemalan department of Suchitepéquez, Good Thursday and Good Friday feature huge skirmish between hundreds of “Judíos” (“Jews”) and a …

  • The Maximon effigy, freshly adorned with new ties and smoking a wooden cigarette, rests on the shoulders of a member of the cofradía, above the crowds who have gathered to watch. Photo: Anna Watts/Comvite
    FeatureFolklore
    Maximón: Up and About
    Anna Watts
    April 14, 2017
    0

    Dozens of eyes peer into a room tucked into Santiago Atitlán’s quiet backstreets, the small space packed to overflowing with visitors who come to give offerings and greet the Maya deity Maximón. At the center, a wooden carved effigy of …

  • Seviche, cebiche, ceviche or seviche, Photo: Comvite
    Food
    The BEST Summer Dish
    Jose Carlos Lemus
    April 13, 2017
    0

    At this point, you may have noticed that the weather in the tropics is generally pretty great and relatively steady. So, since we’re climatically spoiled, we call the few months of the year when the temperature grows slightly hotter “summer”, …

  • The length of the tocoyal, or traditional headdress of Santiago, is supposed to represent one's life. The longer you've lived, the longer your tocoyal. Photo: Anna Watts/Comvite
    FeatureFolklore
    Palm Sunday at the Lake
    Anna Watts
    April 10, 2017
    0

    Multi-colored petals rain down on a palm frond-bedecked float, a small statue of Jesus on a donkey buried at its center. It’s not yet 7 a.m. in Santiago Atitlán, but for a small group of men and women who represent …

  • Jesus passes beside La Antigua Guatemala. Photo: Santiago Billy/Comvite
    Folklore
    Pinhole: Jesus and The Donkey
    Comvite
    April 9, 2017
    0

    In the wee hours of Palm Sunday, a crowd gathers in San Felipe, a small town just outside of La Antigua Guatemala, right after mass. They wait patiently for their procession to begin. This one’s different from the rest, though: …

  • Students of the Universidad San Carlos de Guatemala carry a procession with skeletons during the "Huelga de Dolores". Photo: Hyungsup Kim/Comvite
    Culture
    Pinhole: Huelga de Dolores
    Comvite
    April 7, 2017
    0

    If you’ve been in Guatemala long enough, then you’ve at least heard of Universidad San Carlos de Guatemala, the biggest and oldest university in the country. Every year, their students hold a protest known as “Huelga de Dolores” or “Protest …