Ashleigh Coleman Photography » Southeastern Photographer based in Mississippi

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Guatemala \\ A Country that Stole My Heart

Beautiful guatemalan woman crossing the street Flores, Guatemala and boys sitting on pier on Lake Peten Itza A door in Flores, Guatemala

Bird On top of Temple IV in Tikal Mayan religious ceremony in front of temple in Tikal Beautiful, traditionally dressed Guatemalan woman holding american baby Temple I, the Grand Jaguar Temple, in Tikal Guatemala Happy guatemalan girl in traditional dress Sweet guatemalan mother and child holding american baby American mother and child with guatemalan mother and children in front of temple in Tikal

Different, beautiful ferns in Belize Enjoying the hammock at Black Rock Lodge Baby playing with her toes in hammock

Hummingbird in belize sitting on a branch

Beautiful cabin overlooking the Macal River at Black Rock Lodge Lonely, dead tree against foggy mountains in Belize

In December, we spent four days in Guatemala and at the Black Rock Lodge.  Manymany thanks to Katie Valk for doing a phenomenal job in arranging our lodging, transportation, and guide in Tikal on short notice!

From Ambergris Caye, we took a tiny plane into Flores.  To be honest, I have never understood the fear of flying.  Flying is exhilarating.  I mean, you are in a chair, in the sky.  It boggles my mind each time. However, after flying through a thunderstorm in a plane the size of a car with my husband and baby, I have a new appreciation for jumbo jets. At least the turbulence is mitigated. Small planes in thunderstorms are for the birds.

Inclement weather aside, arriving Flores with its smell of rain–the streets quiet and washed clean–reminded me why I love Latin American countries and why I regret I don’t speak spanish.  The vibrant color, the friendly people, the sense of life & warmth, the rawness–it wakes my imagination up.  We walked alongside Lake Peten Itza. We watched residents outside of shops.  We laughed at the crazy little, three wheeled, red Tuc Tuc’s (taxi’s) careening down the narrow streets.  We enjoyed the beauty of exotic flowers.

The next morning we headed to Tikal to see the ancient Mayan temples that peek over the top of the jungle canopy, to marvel at the enormity of  these temples, to watch as our daughter was handed from one Guatemalan woman to another (it all started with an irresistible grandmother who came up & gestured for her), to catch a tiny glimpse of monkeys high in the tree tops, to learn about the fascinating Mayan civilization.

After leaving Tikal, we drove back to Belize & wound our way deep into the mountains & hibernated at the Black Rock Lodge for a couple nights.  I nursed the tendonitis that developed in both ankles from the comfort of the hammock, only emerging to eat delicious food, watch the toucans & hummingbirds, and take a hike up the waterfalls.

This was a perfect jaunt to balance out the bright beauty of the seaside.