Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Santiago Atitlan

We hired a launcha from Casa del Mundo to take us across the lake one afternoon to Santiago Atitlan.

The Lake Atitlan fishing boats are a funny shape

It was a sleepy afternoon and we were apparently the only tourists in town. I was pretty much shopped out by then, but Ron and Dorothy wanted to stop in every shop, and Dave was on a mission for a specific gift for his cousin Bryan.

The main road in town leads up the hill to a large church and square. So we walked up the road to the church, looked around some, and came back down past all the shops again to the docks.

The church was a little run down, but still beautiful. Ron took a bunch of pics inside but I feel funny about snapping pictures in churches. But you can see some of his pics in my photo album.

Ron and Dorothy hadn't been buying anything on the way up (but Ron was having fun negotiating anyway). After our experience in Chichi, where we discovered the price comes WAY down when you start to walk away, Ron knew that you don't buy on the first look.

One of the interesting things we saw was a man working on an old loom. We learned later that the huilepuil's that the women wear are woven in 18" wide strips by the women on a 'backstrap loom'. The other weavings, for general cloth around the house and some of the men's clothes, are woven by men on a big loom.

On the way back down, Ron and Dorothy started buying a few things. The closer to the dock they got, the lower the prices got. Once they started buying, word got around among the women on the street that someone was buying, and everyone in town headed for Ron. By the time Ron arrived back at the dock, he was surrounded by a swarm of Mayan women all thrusting their goods on him. All were amazing pieces of workmanship, taking literally months to make. Being offered, at that time, for about $10-$20.

I still wasn't buying--I really don't like to be pressured to buy something. (Especially something I don't have a need for or room for on the boat). But I got some great pics of Ron.

I did end up buying one off Dorothy later, who bought her last one on the dock from a young girl, just because she felt sorry for her. Though we felt Dorothy had 'stolen' it at only $10, the girl was really happy about her end of the transaction. I saw her look of triumph as she got the money from Ron.

Our Santiago Pictures are here:


No comments:

Post a Comment