There are more than a few reasons I chose to stay in Guatemala, instead of continuing to travel or heading back to Canada.
1. Irving. The best reason I know to stay here. I fell in love and stayed and I am still in love with him, 4.5 years later!
2. Spanish. It?s fun to be fluent in a second language.
3. The food. Guatemalan food is not Mexican food, although there are similarities. I love taco, gringas, and pupusas.
4. The cost of living. I can easily earn enough by working online part time to support us. With Irving?s earnings mixed in, we are doing ok and building a house.
5. The people. They are very friendly and for the most part, open.
6. Expats. I have to admit that I don?t really hang out in the expat community anymore, but when I worked in a bar, I saw a lot of them and really enjoyed interacting with them.
7. Travelers. They are even more fascinating than expats! Again, in my bartending days, I met tons of them.
8. Quaint streets. Ok, I have to admit that it?s hard to walk on cobblestones, but the cobbled streets of my little pueblo look very cool!
9. Banana trees. How cool is it to look out your bedroom window and see bananas growing on a palm tree? I like the avocado, mango and pomegranate trees, too!
10. Fresh fruit and veggies. You can get them so fresh here, picked just hours before. I love that. And fresh fruit in the market is WAY cheaper than buying tinned stuff. So, if you are very broke, you buy fresh food. Tinned food is for rich people!
11. The colors. Guatemalans love color and it is evident everywhere, from the Mayan huipiles to the bags and purses that they sell in the market.
12. Market day. There is nothing like squeezing your way through the maze of Antigua?s market on market day, with vendors calling out their wares, a jumble of bright colors of fruits, vegetables, live animals, plastic toys and just about anything else you can imagine! If any of you ever come down here, I?d be happy to give you a free tour of the market on market day, just email me before you come! I love seeing newcomers faces when they see the market for the first time.
13. Festivals. Guatemalans love to party. So there is a festival every couple of weeks and they always go all out for it. Fireworks, firecrackers, great street food, everyone turns out in droves to celebrate. Half the time they don?t even know what exactly they are celebrating. I ask Irving why there?s a procession and he just shrugs. ?I don?t remember.?
There are lots more reasons, but that?s thirteen already! Maybe I?ll have to do another TT on this topic.