Saturday, March 27, 2010

Last night together in Antigua

Yesterday we were early to rise to spend our day at one of only three active volcanos in Guatemala. Pacaya is 8,371 ft above sea level and was approx. a 2 hour hike from the base. We climbed all the way to the hot lava and what a sight to see. Pacaya begain the active phase in 1965 and continues to flow lava down the side even today. What an amazing experience to touch and be one with the nature of an active volacno and its lush country side. Climbing across the rough landscape put our team work to the test!
Tonight we celebrate the last night together in the city in which it all began, beautiful Antigua. Today we left behind Panajachel with its beautiful lake Atitlan and bustling streets. We made our journey back toward Antigua and on the way stopped at the Mayan ruins. The ruins we visited today was the town of Iximche of the Cakchiquel Maya who were powerful warriors and skilled builders. This town of Iximche is known to have an elaborate market where the shops were, taxes were paid and local government disputes were settled. The Spanish invaded Guatemala on July 25th 1524 and make this the capital of Guatemala. This was quite an experience to stand in the town center and just imagine the history under our feet. The ruins are still in amazing condition considering the time and natural disaster that has come through this area.
As we leave behind this amazing culture and landscape we take with us the knowledge we gained, friends we made and memories to last a life time.

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