Being the son of Guatemalan immigrants, I am fluent in both Spanish and English. I know I should do more on my behalf, but Avi’s primary language is English. She understands Spanish but can only communicate at the moment in English.
Many family members here in the U.S wondered what Avi would do when she found herself in a country where English was no longer the primary language.
Well it was this first encounter at the play area that solidified what I knew would happen, nothing…kids are kids, and they just play.
I watched as she ran throughout the play area with local kids. It was when we finally had to leave that I truly saw the language barrier had no effect.
My seventeen year old cousin who is very proficient in English was by her side, but Avi was too preoccupied with two girls whom she was playing with at the ball pit. They spoke in Spanish, Avi responded in English, neither side caring about the language difference. This is exactly how she continued on with her cousins and a friend (Diego) she made while in Guatemala.
That first day we were greeted by a good majority of our family members, Avi met cousin after cousin, aunt after aunt, and uncle after uncle. It was a little bit overwhelming but she quickly escaped to play with all the children, and I began catching up with the adults.
Late in the evening we finally settled in at my aunt’s house and fell asleep, the next morning I began to discuss what it was I wanted to do on this trip, and we setup a rough itinerary and went from there.
We knew Antigua would be ideal to visit first, due to its proximity to Guatemala City, so we started there.
The capital at one point in Guatemala's history, Antigua feels like a visit to the past. The roads are cobble stoned, the buildings are old and beautiful, the colors are gorgeous, and the central park is beautiful and elegant.
We arrived in the early afternoon and spent our time walking about the city.
Avi ran and adventured around the city with her friend Diego, and was truly enjoying our first destination.
When our stomachs started grumbling we decided it was time to get a bite to eat.
My cousin recommended a place to eat and we sat down for a late lunch. The food was typical Guatemalan and it was so good!
After eating we headed out to the central park, here Avi, Pamela (my cousin), and Mafer (My cousins friend) received a typical Mayan hair braid. Avi wasn’t to happy with the process, but loved the outcome.
As the sun started to set, we called it a day and headed back to the city after an amazing day spent in Antigua
The next day or two we setup itineraries for things we would do, times when we would head out and so on.
While coming up with travel dates my aunt suggested this beautiful resort/theme park named Xetulul, which is located in Retalhuleu.
I found this an excellent idea for Avi to enjoy prior to her birthday party celebration. So in addition to Panajachel we added a new destination.
But for now it was off to panajachel.....
continue to pt 3