From Panajuchel we visited the village of San Marcos which is something like a spiritual hub, offering new age therapies in various centres, has also yoga retreats, meditation centres, alternative medicine centres and the like. We reached by boat from Panajuchel and were immersed in this serenity and peacefulness of a place that has no streets, only paved or soil narrow footpaths. Few sounds, not many, mainly from people walking or chatting in low voices.
While looking for a place to stay guy passed by, younger than us, barefoot, dressed in loose clothes, with messy wavy hair, a few tattoos, eating a raw broccoli while talking to a couple of the very same look, a few seconds later, here’s another one, and another, ..
Us two, although eager to find our inner peace and to embrace the tranquility of the place, seemed to stand out stylistically.
San Juan La Laguna
San Juan La Laguna has a totally different personality. It’s more local, so it’s worth visiting to observe the everyday local Mayan life. We visited a local weaving cooperative (Ixoq ajheem) to see how the women create these beautiful patterns on the traditional backstrap looms.
Although surrounded by lots of green, the village streets have no trees. The houses are very small and often look poor, kids playing outside while their parents are kept busy working.
San Pedro La Laguna
San Pedro La Laguna is a touristic village with not attractive architecture and with its waterfront being filled with shops only for tourists. Signs everywhere advertising all sorts of things a tourist may need, street vendors offering mostly machine made mayan type accessories at high prices. This feeling soon disappears once getting away from this street to quieter more local parts of the village.
Lots of tuk tuks and noise.
Beautiful girls and women dressed in traditional clothes often carrying goods in a basket on their head
Outdoor-neighbourhood culture: The elderly get a chair from their house to sit out on the street and chat while the kids are playing.
Streetfood on wheels carries the bbq, as well as table and stools, everything they need for cooking, so one can eat on small plastic stools, sharing a table with others; all things plastic here but food is local and delicious and you get to meet other people, locals or tourists.
Traditional Mayan music evening that we found in a local school. All musical instruments are made out of natural materials mainly wooden percussion instruments and wooden or clay wind instruments Mayan musical instruments mimic the sounds of nature