Summary of my day trip to the culturally enriching and artistic town of San Juan La Laguna, in Lake Atitlán, Guatemala.
For the last ten days I’ve been volunteering at GuateSUP, an awesome paddle-boarding tour company in Lake Atitlán, Guatemala.
My life here revolves around paddling, yoga and acroyoga, photography, shopping at the local market, playing with dogs, and getting to know the guests and other volunteers that come through.
GuateSUP is based in Panajachel, the most developed of the towns surrounding Lake Atitlán. Yesterday my friend and I took the day off to venture across the lake by boat and visit some different towns.
One of the places we stopped was San Juan La Laguna.
After wandering around this tiny town for a few hours, my happiness was soaring and my camera’s memory card was on the verge of overloading. Incredible street art seems to cover every open surface, and every mural depicts some special aspect of the culture.
San Juan La Laguna’s residents are mostly members of the indigenous Mayan ethnic group, Tz’utujil. These people are known for their preservation of traditional Mayan lifestyle, including weaving with naturally-dyed threads and growing and cultivating maize and coffee.
The community of San Juan La Laguna does an amazing job of showcasing their artistic talents and their unique culture for tourists. Art galleries, textile cooperatives and coffee and chocolate shops fill the streets and locals are more than happy to explain the artistic process and cultural significance of every item on display.
From the shops bursting with artistic talent and captivating colors, to the street murals beautifully depicting the Mayan culture, to the surrounding volcanoes and luscious green hills, San Juan La Laguna stole my heart.
San Juan also has a Mirador, or viewpoint. You have to pay 10Q ($1.30) to climb the uphill trek to the lookout, but it only takes 15 minutes and the views of the surrounding landscape are stunning.
To read about more of my travel adventures in Latin America, check out these articles: