Adios, Guatemala: Chocolate, a market, ruins, coffee and more!

I got busy with getting ready for school and now starting school, so I didn’t have time to update the blog. Lo siento!! Here are some final pictures from the end of my time in Guatemala. 

I learned all about cacao and made some chocolate at the Choco Museo, yum! We roasted the beans, then de-shelled the cacao beans, and saved the husks for some cacao tea (which tastes like watery chocolate, but actually good…er, at least with some sugar…and maybe some milk). We had a competition to grind the cacao beans down using a mortar and pestle into a shiny paste to use for making into a chocolatey substance that we then mixed with milk for a hot chocolate, and also mixed with chili for a spicy Mayan-style chocolate drink. We picked our molds for our chocolates, chose either milk or dark chocolate, had a slew of toppings and mix-ins to choose from, like crushed macadamia nuts, chili spice, ground dried mint, sea salt, ground coffee beans, etc. and began pouring our chocolate into the molds and mixing in our toppings. After a couple hours in the fridge, we returned to get our bag of our own chocolates!

I visited the mercado (or market) with my Spanish teacher to learn names of fruits and vegetables and such and just for the experience of visiting the confusing, maze that is the market in Antigua. The bigger market runs on Thursdays and Saturdays. And maybe Mondays too.

On my last day in Antigua, I visited San Francisco Church, the ruins of a monastery around it, and the tomb of Saint Hermano Pedro (the namesake of the hospital where I was volunteering).

I also visited the ruins of Santa Clara Convent, which had beautiful fountains in courtyards and lots of interesting nooks and crannies to explore. Someone had laid flower petals around in different places which was a nice surprise addition.

Lastly, I also visited a local, small coffee plantation called La Azotea that makes delicious organic coffee and has a museum dedicated to Mayan music and traditions, which was actually very interesting. They had a great replica of Maximon, the deity effigy that we visited in San Santiago. Since I wasn’t able to get good pics at the actual site, these replica pics here are spot on!

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And some random shots from around town:

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