Land of Great Beauty and Great Tragedy

Visitors to Guatemala can walk among beautiful fountains and timeless sculptures in one of America’s oldest towns and cities. With 8,000 species of plants, 600 varieties of orchids, and 300 bird species, nearly the entire country is a nature lover’s paradise. A visit to Guatemala offers visitors the rare opportunity to experience a country that has changed little over the centuries.

Lake Atitlan

The Niños del Lago site is only 15 minutes away from the lake and with view of lake from our 6-acres natural-forest site.

Located 5,125 feet above sea level, Lake Atitlan covers an area of 50 square miles and has a depth of 1,600 feet and its waters are home to several species of fish.Three spectacular volcanoes – Toliman, Atitlan and San Pedro – form a natural backdrop for the lake and the varying light causes the lake to constantly change color.

Maya People and Culture Today

Today, the Maya people continue to live outside the political mainstream and use the same agricultural practices they have used for centuries. The faces of the older Maya people still reflect an ancient wisdom, reserve and dignity. The young show an innocent joy and curiosity not as easily seen in Western civilization.

Many of their ancient customs, crafts, and attitudes remain intact. In stark contrast to the wealthier industrialized societies, the Maya exist in what we would consider economic poverty.

The Truth About Guatemala

Now called an internal conflict, in 1954, a civil war was ignited in Guatemala in which 300,000 people were either killed or ‘disappeared’ – mostly the indigenous Maya. This war lasted for 36 years and did not officially end until 1996 when an International Peace Accord was signed.

If you are interested in knowing more about what happened in Guatemala to create such great tragedy and social upheaval, here are two well-respected books written on the subject:

Bitter Fruit: The Story of the American Coup in Guatemala, Revised and Expanded (David Rockefeller Center Series on Latin American Studies, H) by Stephen Schlesinger, Stephen Kinzer, John H. Coatsworth and Richard A. Nuccio (Dec 30, 2005)

Guatemala: Eternal Spring, Eternal Tyranny by Jean-Marie Simon (Jan 17, 1988)