As we made our way down to the dock, the Guatemalan weavers at Lake Atitlan aggressively sported their wares. They held out rugs and table cloths and wall-hangings, all With vibrant colors and made in traditional designs with wool, cotton, and silk yarn. In my imagination I placed them on every surface in my house, but I begged the clamoring women to let me continue to the boat. I’d come back later.
We boarded a large flat-bottomed boat with an upper and lower deck and powered out to the middle of lake Atitlan. I did not know until then that our guides had pre-selected half a dozen native women in traditional dress to board the boat with us in order to exhibit and sell their beautiful weavings. Fortunately, the women were absolutely silent as they displayed what appeared to me to be artistic treasures.
There were several I desperately wanted to buy. But by the end of the trip, all I had was plastic in my pocket and the women needed cash. If only!
The boat then stopped in the middle of this absolutely placid deep-water lake under a gentle February sky—no bugs, no hawkers, no noise. And there we stayed for an hour or so, visiting and sharing stories important to us, surrounded with beauty and peace on Lake Atitlan.
Saying Goodbye to Mesoamerica
We knew we had an airplane to catch the next morning and we knew we didn’t want to get on it. We weren’t ready to go home yet. That’s the biggest downside to round-trip flights. You have to go home based on a prior decision you made with incomplete information.
Our travels had afforded us the great satisfaction of seeing many of the archeological sites in Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras. In the time frame of only two weeks, however, our itinerary had necessarily omitted some excellent sites. Maybe that’s one of the joys of travel—you can’t ever see it all the first time. We had a taste, a wonderful sampling of what we might enjoy on a subsequent visit.