Friday, January 23, 2009

Parramos, Guatemala

A bit of introduction about el pueblo in which I am living. Parramos is a small village, about 2000m(+/- 500?) nestled between the towns of Antigua and Chimaltenango in Guatemala. This town is empathetically not a tourist destination, and as far as I know is not yet on Lonely Planet. As my host family says, it's muy tranquilo, in contrast to the touristic and un-Guatemalan Antigua and the dangerous Guatemala City (nicknamed here as Guate). My Spanish professor tells me it's 70% Mayan and 30% Mixed/Ladino, which makes for an interesting demographic.

Parramos will be my jumping-off point for Guatemalan adventures as well as my home for learning Spanish in a trial-by-fire of sorts. The homestay cost here is cheaper than Antigua (390Q, or $50/wk as of January 2009), as well as the classes with a private tutor (500Q, or $64/wk as of January 2009 for 20 hours M-F). Yet, Antigua is only a 30-minute and 3Q ride on the Chicken bus, the converted school buses which run everywhere on the continent. Parramos is a commuter town, with its residents on one hand catering to the touristy Antigua and the larger village of Chimaltengango. Although it does not have the tourist venues, fast food restaurants, and views of Antigua, it also lacks the chaos a tourist hub brings. Of course, night-time in Guatemala is a different matter... the locals do not recommend venturing outside after 9:30PM latest.

Parramos' Parque Central

One of the many churches in the town

The main road, Antigua to Chimaltenango

Another view across the Parque Central, with (active) Volcan Acatenango and Fuego (3976m) in background

1 comment:

vpr8 said...

the stone bench looks like a day-bed, if only it was soft! lol