Wednesday, April 29, 2009


There are lots of Places in Belize ( not small like the Pana area) and I'm sure TONS of info on it, I searched tons of info before I went. I went to Caye Caulker (the more expensive one) and Ambergis Caye, cool little spot and lots of cheap hotels. All have different trips out to the reef. I went on one party/scuba boat and one glass bottom. the trips out to the "big hole" are a couple hundred dollars because its quite far from the islands. If you'er wanting to out there, see which Island is the closest.. You'll land in Belize City, then taxi, then boat to the islands, which if its an open boat, is really windy, long ride. On the way back we got one with a cover, much better!! Unless you go at the peak season, there are places to stay that are not listed on Expedia or or anywhere..they are cheap (well.. were 3 years ago) and right on the beach. $25-45. (and of course more)...

As all those countries south, the beds are hard....the one in Caye Caulker was like a bed and breakfast (without the breakfast... ha ha), really nice upper room and could see both sides of the island, (its only about 1/4 - 1/2 mile wide anyway.) Golf carts for rent everywhere. We got a cheap flight from Caye Coulker into a lower part of Belize, went to the Zoo (not worth going) and then into Guatemala to the Tikal Ruins, bussed it and took vans when possible, then flew back to Ambergis Caye, I think, I can't remember exactly, man I swear, I'm getting Alzheimers!! I have a journal some where around here...

Sue Pearson

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Web Hosting, business directory, maps

From one of my favorites sites for Gautemala information & travel:


Panajachel is located in the Guatemalan highlands and provides incredible views to three volcanoes and the Lake Atitlan. The volcanoes, San Pedro, Toliman, and Atitlan set an incredible stage for this town. Panajachel is also the gateway to explore the three indigenous villages around Lake Atitlan. Santiago Atitlan, Santa Cararina Palopo and San Antonio Palopo, all are famous for its women weavers and their typical clothes.

During the period of the Spanish conquering Guatemala, the shores of the lake were the scene of the great battle in which the Spanish and their Cakchiquel allies defeated the Tzutuhils. The Spanish set up a church and monastery in Panajachel soon afterward, and used the town as a center for converting the Indians of the region to the Catholic faith. The original façade of the church stills stands, and is one of the gems of the colonial style in Guatemala.

Lake Atitlan in Panajachel, or Pana as it is called by many locals, is a town full of interesting sights, sounds, and smells. The town has numerous hotels and is full of small quality restaurants and interesting nightspots. During the day you can visit the surrounding villages, enjoy the breathtaking views onto the volcanoes that surround the lake or visit Panajachel's busy market street. It is one of the best places in Guatemala to shop for souvenirs.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Blind Lemons in San Marcos la Laguna

See photos & events at:

Named for the first working street musician of the 20th century, Blind Lemon’s was conceived as a live music venue. And considering its remote location, Lemon’s attracts a fairly steady stream of great musical and entertainment talent. As this is Guatemala, we never know too much in advance when these people are going to walk through the door, but we’re happy to keep you informed and put you on our events mailing list if you’ll send us an email to

Every Tuesday night is Bluesnight here. Carlos, the owner, holds down the fort with his repertoire of originals and covers of the bluesmen of the 20th century such as Robert Johnson, Blind Willie McTell, Tampa Red, and of course Blind Lemon Jefferson, and welcomes anybody else who plays the blues to participate. During the high season of December to March we also have many open mikes as well. Other nights, we have the latest best movies and documentaries shown on the big screen. We also have a Directv system from the USA to cover major sporting events.

If you are a musician and are coming to Guatemala and San Marcos and are interested in playing here, please drop us an email and let us know.


Design by Atitlan Resource

Thursday, April 9, 2009

BIG Dreams for Small Living

From my email friend Pamela:

"Dream BIG for small living... I am so ready to downsize and BE."

I will start collecting plans and ideas here for BIG Dreams for Small Living." Yes!

To just BE.


Source: LIVING magazine


20 Tips for Living in Small Spaces : TreeHugger
TreeHugger likes to promote living large in small spaces and doing more with less in a minimum space for maximum living; having less space means hoarding less stuff, using fewer resources and maximizing the functionality of what we can fit. ...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Retiring to Guatemala

Dear Pamela,

You could help me right now by telling me what you would want to look for in a retirement home in a third-world country like Guatemala. That would help me write up something, and you could add in whatever you find that is interesting as well. I love it here because there is no jet lag, the electricity and plumbing is the same as the United States, and the weather around the lake is 75 degrees year round. They call it "The land of the eternal Spring."

This means single-wall construction, no insulation, no heating or airconditioning, and you can live mostly in the garden and with the doors and windows open all day. It's pretty marvelous, really. I call it "poor man's Hawaii," although it's getting built up so much with Europeans and Americans prices are rising. I'm glad I got here when I did.

Let me know... Yours, CT

Lake Atitlan Directory

Email: Lake Atitlan Directory [Re: Downsizing and Dreams

Dear Pamela,

I missed the part about "do I need a sales rep?" You might have been joking, but:

Yes, when things finally get started we WILL need a sales rep, here and in the states! I have no money to build anything yet, but hope when I get back I can get started with SOMETHING. That's what counts, doesn't it?

So look at my Lake Atitlan blog and do a google search for that and for Panajachel, the town largest town on the lake that I live in. I'm working on a Lake Atitlan Directory right now that I also need help with, as I'm adding stuff to a wiki page that I hope to condense and publish as part of the telephone directory. It's rough and mostly a place to store interesting info at this point. I am collecting info in all kinds of places right now (see links below) and hoping to find one that works the best so everything can be in one place. I think the Facebook page for the Lake Atitlan Directory will do it, at least I hope so. That, with a link to another web page where everything is stored and available. If you have time, take a look.

You could honestly help me right now, as a volunteer, if you want right from where you are (another friend is doing this from Oregon since she wants to retire here in a few years). Plus this will help you familiarize yourself with the area. Lots of gringos are coming down around here, and in Honduras and other Latin American areas.

Architecture blog:

Lake Atitlan Directory:

Lake Atitlan blog:

WikiSpace Lake Atitlan pages:


More later? Yours, CT

On Wed, Apr 8, 2009 at 4:18 PM, P. wrote:

By the way..I was partially kidding about Sales rep, but if the opportunity to get others on board came along....I would seriously consider it. There are 70 million baby boomers in USA looking to retire and downsize....that is a HUGE audience to look to. Pamela

My response:

That's what I thought, too. Maybe we need to "put the word out." Hmmm. Ideas?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Semana Santa (Holy Week)

© W2C Multimedia - Festival Pictures - Travel Pictures Gallery 2009. All rights reserved.

I'm in Panajachel in early April for Semana Santa (Holy Week) with incredible processions and carpeted streets with flowers, seeds, fruit, colored sawdust and all kinds of things. I'm not big on the recreation of the Crucifixion, but the carpets are beautiful. See some photos on flickr and the Atitlan blog below. Back to NC in ten days. Would that I was getting paid for all this travel! At least I'm (finally) having fun. LOL. Hope you are too!

Your friend Catherine MERRICK Todd (that's Irish to y'all)


Guatemala Highlands Journal:

DOCARE International - Medical Missions

DOCARE International

Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
June 12-28, 2009

* Home
* About Us
o President's Corner
o DOCARE Board
* Missions
o Upcoming Missions
o Past Missions
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* Students
o Get Involved!
+ Volunteering
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* Get Involved!
o Volunteer
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o Other Ways to Help
* Contact Us

FACEBOOK US! facebook
TWITTER US! twitter ________________
Want to Help? Sponsor a Mission!

DOCARE needs you to sponsor a mission! We will provide you with the materials you need to develop and carry out a medical mission, and we can match you with prior sponsors who can answer your questions along the way. We will support you while you provide support to others by using your time and talents to coordinate a mission.
Learn more.

Upcoming Missions

Antigua, Guatemala
February 13-28, 2009

San Andreas, Guatemala
Feb. 20-March 6, 2009

San Martin & Chimaltenango Regions, Guatemala
March 7-21, 2009

Lilongwe, Malawi
April 1-May 1, 2009

Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
June 12-28, 2009

Huamachuco, Peru
August 6-19, 2009

* * * * *

Lake Atitlan, GUATEMALA


Mission Site: Lake Atitlan Region, Western Highlands, Guatemala

Mission Dates: 6/15/09 - 6/29/09 (2 Weeks)

Deadline for Receipt of Volunteer Applications: 3/1/09

Mission Objective: 17th medical outreach to provide primary healthcare to Mayans living in villages around the lake and small town outside of Antigua.


Mission Director: Camille Z. Bentley, DO
Chief Medical Officer: Camille Z. Bentley, DO
Coordinator/Logistics Officer: Camille Z. Bentley, DO

Volunteers Needed

Healthcare Professionals Needed:
Primary Care Physicians
Nurses, Paramedics

Support Personnel, Including Osteopathic Medical Students, Needed:
RVU Medical Students
Med Students from other programs with approval

Locally run hotels used. Double occupancy, private bath.


Will the host country be providing government support?: Yes
If yes, what type?: Guests of La Secretaria de Obras Sociales de la Esposa del Presidente - SOSEP and Asociacion Caminar, Police escort provided.

Trip is coordinated in conjunction with Rocky Vista University COM. For more detailed information and registration forms, please visit under "Public Involvement - Medical Outreach" or contact Dr. Bentley.

© 2008 DOCARE International

Panajachel, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Panajachel, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
View of Lake Atitlan and volcano from my apartment balcony in Panajachel. Taken by Catherine Todd June 2008.