Rural Guatemala

Your favorite MAYAN store

Typical scene along the road from Belize to Tikal, the ancient Mayan Temple deep in the jungles of Guatemala.


The journey from Belize to Tikal is an adventure like no other, after waiting an hour at the Guatemalan border for permission to enter the country, the first attraction was an army base, complete with armed guards watching our every move.As the uniformed soldiers were combat ready and not a smile was to be found,  It didn’t take long to realize that this was not the time or place for horse play or to make any move that would  arouse their suspicions.

As of now, the Guatemalan government hasn’t adopted our highway system, traveling along an extremely bumpy, dirt road one has plenty of time to observe the jungle and the many different types of wildlife living there. Entering through the “back door” of Guatemala, we found the atmosphere a lot more cheerful once arriving at Tikal.

Several tiny villages dot the landscape,  the people who  live in thatched hut roofs are extremely poor, owning only the bare essentials and probably a horse with which to do meager substance level farming. Many scenes like this small boy on his horse are seen. Women are washing their clothes in the river, just up stream from where some one else is drawing the daily supply of drinking water from the same body of water. With all of our supposedly necessary clean water standards one wonders how they don’t get sick. We Americans get sick and they probably do too, however the human body is  much more capable of warding off disease then most people want to admit.

I have nothing against a clean environment and the cleaner the better, however, in my humble opinion, a lot of our clean air standards are more about selling water and air filters than they are about clean air and water.

After several hours of traveling dirt roads, taking photos , and stopping to shop a roadside markets we arrive at Tikal, where we would observe the full moon rising over the ancient Mayan temple. After the moon rise , it would be a forty-five minute journey through bandito infested areas to our hotel. The last group to try this wound up tied up along the roadside and robbed of all their worldly possessions.Hope we make it!

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The author has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,

Your comments welcome

Mayan book

This book is dedicated to the Maya Indians for the contributions they have made and continue to make to the world as we know it.

It doesn’t take long to discover that Belize is a land of contrasts. From the poverty and disarray of the cities to the quiet countryside, many differences are soon found.

With poverty and crime running rampant in cities such as Belize City and Belmopan, the traveler has to be constantly aware of his surroundings and protect whatever is being carried. Remember, that camera hanging around your neck is worth more than the average Belizean earns in a year. All that aside, the Mayan people are wonderfully warm people, many of whom go out of their way to please visitors.Traveling into the countryside one discovers thatch roof homes with no doors or windows. Because of the warm climate, they can live comfortably all year with a gentle breeze flowing through the open windows and doors. I was struck with the concept that although no utility lines were visible, a lot of homes had a satellite dish in the front yard. Asking my guide about this he stated that the TV’s and VCR’s were powered by a car battery. No wonder the video stores were the largest stores in town.

He stated that when the battery ran down, it would be taken into town and recharged at the local gas station. Jokingly, I asked why he just didn’t switch batteries with the tour van we were traveling in to re-charge it? His reply, “I couldn’t do that, it would be stealing from my employer.”
Too bad more people don’t have that attitude!

Real Goods Solar, Inc.


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