San Pedro La Laguna

Traditional women of San Pedro La Laguna with the not-so traditional younger generation

Traditional women of San Pedro La Laguna with the not-so traditional younger generation

Dates visited: March 30, 2015

San Pedro La Laguna, called Tz’unun Ya’ (means Place of the Humming Birds) in Tz’utujil, is a rustic Mayan village on the shores of Lago de Atitlán (Lake Atitlán). We got here by a boat from another Mayan village, San Juan La Laguna. This was a whirlwind trip, across Lake Atitlán, of three Mayan villages (other two being San Juan La Laguna and Santiago Atitlán) so Prachi was nervous about her seasickness acting up. She had her partners-in-crime for company—”seasick wrist bands” and ginger candy. We had reached San Juan La Laguna without any incident of sea sickness so Prachi was glad to survive the first leg. The boat ride to San Pedro La Laguna was no different. 2 down, 1 to go. Phew! Our plan was to return to Panajachel by early afternoon as xocomil (means “the wind that carried away sin” in Kaqchickel language) that blows in at that time makes the waters very rough.

San Pedro La Laguna, is larger than  San Juan La Laguna, but just as quiet and authentic. We spent about an hour here walking through the town, watching people go about their daily chores. It was a typical day for them. Volcano San Pedro looms large over this village so a lot of tourists come here to hike up the mountain. I was content admiring the volcano from down below as we had to return to Panajachel before the lake got rough.

The men and women wore their traditional Mayan clothes with patterns and designs unique to their village. It was just a different experience and I relished every moment of it knowing this isn’t a culture I was going to see back home. It was fun strolling through the streets and seeing houses decked with Easter decorations. The newest building here is the out-of-place but beautiful First Baptist Church that offers an awesome view of the village as well as Lake Atitlán. This building, in addition to a church, houses a Christian radio station and a hospital. I highly recommend going up to the terrace for a fantastic panoramic view.

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