There are a few things that I know to be true after my third trip to Guatemala and I thought I’d share them in case any of you travel here in the future.

  • It doesn’t matter how small the town, there’s always a futbol field. (that’s soccer to you folks in the United States)
  • A Guatemalan will NEVER refuse the offer of something sweet. I seriously believe that maybe the “Elf” diet was fashioned after my friends here.  Candy, candy canes, candy corns, & syrup. (These sweets are usually a supplement to coffee. With milk and sugar.)
  • Skinny jeans do not look good on anyone.  Not Americans, not Guatemalans, no one.
  • The Spanish you learn in school or on Rosetta Stone is not the same as Guatemalan Spanish. No es coche. Es carro.
  • Sushi is not only okay to eat, but the Latin influence makes it (dare I say) better than most I’ve had. Ronne agrees enthusiastically.

    Sushi Itto.
  • In the city you will find the BEST restaurants and retail that the United States has to offer.  Sears in Guatemala City = Nordstrom in the US.  Pizza Hut in Guate = Califonia Pizza Kitchen in the US. McDonalds in Guate = Starbucks+Cheesecake Factory.  Starbucks in Guatemala = taking advantage of uneducated, poverty stricken laborers.
  • Should you be awakened by the sound of gunfire don’t worry, it’s someones birthday celebration being kicked off with the traditional firecrackers before dawn.
  • When driving in Guatemala the yellow line, stoplights and traffic laws are merely suggestions.  It’s wise to adhere to the same rule as traveling by taxi in NYC: don’t look out the front window.
  • When you get to Heaven, you will find out that it smells exactly like a place in Guatemala called San Martin. It will smell of freshly baked bread.
  • This one is still out for debate – but it seems that there is a cotton candy flavor here that most resembles dirt.  It’s green, so maybe it’s earth flavor.  Not sure if it’s recycled.
  • Walmart owns.
  • Spider monkeys are outstanding thieves. What do they steal? Oreos. But they only want the middle.  They toss the cookies.

    Cookie thief.
  • The highway system is ever evolving. It may not look the same this afternoon as it did this morning. But rest assured that professional van drivers are some kind of hybrid superhero, trapeze artist, and guardian angel.  Put your trust in them, take your Dramamine, and take a nap.  It’s better if you don’t watch. (the rest of the information in this truth is being omitted so as not to alarm any family members… except we’ll say that when asked “where the hell are we & why is it so dark?” the driver belly laughed.
  • If you don’t love the black beans you’re a jerk. Ok, that was rude. But it’s true.

    Happiness on a plate.
  • If you say that your bags are packed full of UNDERWEAR for donation at customs, the agents will feel awkward and allow you through without inspection.
  • If you don’t like Guatemalan coffee you’re a jerk.  Ok, that was rude.  But it’s true.
  • It’s actually OK to eat some of the produce – but NOT the strawberries.
  • When you are told not to flush the toilet paper – they mean it.  Did you see the sinkhole a few months ago? The fault of an American tourist, we’re pretty sure.
  • If you ask a driver how long the trip is they will say 3 hours “mas  o menos”…its the “mas o menos” that gets you every time.
  • If you are told that the driver is taking backroads, you may want to ask “how far back?”.
  • When you come to Guatemala prepare to be hugged and kissed.
  • Eco-friendly in Guatemala is not the same as in the US.  It may actually mean that in order to save the environment they don’t ever wash the sheets or towels.  And that they have wired going to the showerhead to help you decide to “go green” by choosing a baby wipe bath instead. Note: we may or may not have personal knowledge of the aforementioned statement.
  • Best beds: La Porta in Antigua
  • Best service:Vista Real in Guatemala City
  • Best “check this out, we’re sleeping in a jungle” experience: Posada de Santiago
  • Prepare yourself for some of the best hugs in the world. Lots of them.
  • Finally, you want to drink a Cimarrona while you’re here.  It’s mineral water, lime, and salt, with a little pinch of heaven.


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About Ronne Rock

LIFE. LOVE. LEADERSHIP. AND A LITTLE #KITCHENTHERAPY. Ronne Rock’s heart finds its strongest beat where beauty and pain collide – because hope always finds us in the shattered places. There’s more than 30 years of marketing and communications experience in her bones, and she finds great joy in sharing leadership wisdom as a regular contributor to Orange Leaders and QARA. But more often than not these days, she's with the vulnerable in difficult places around the world, gathering stories that change stories. Find Ronne's words in "For You, Love" the prayer journal that invites you to respond, and in Everbloom, a collection of stories from the Redbud Writers Guild. She is currently writing, "Building Eden: Principles of a Grace-Filled Leadership that Restores and Redeems."   Ronne is represented by Karen Neumair at Credo Communications.

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One thought on “Truth(s).”

  1. Hi Mrs Now: we met at Master Niblock’s ATA. Just wanted to tell you how beautiful your blog is, and I TOTALLY get it, see, I’m originally from Honduras and it’s just like your portraying it. OK, be safe, see you back in TX 🙂

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