|Masks and costumes|
Next was the new and beautiful Museo Ixchel, named for the Maya goddess of the moon, women, reproduction and textiles. The huge collection of textiles and costume is artistically arranged and has extensive explanations in Spanish and English. We watched 2 of the 3 movies that are available on History of Guatemalan costume and the Confradia Societies. These were set up by the Catholic church to control the Mayan population but they have turned into locally organized ways to celebrate not only Catholic saints but their Mayan beliefs. Leadership of these powerful groups is passed to a different man (and his wife) each year and they host the round of festivals around the town's Saint's Day.
Later we headed into the central area (Zona 1) for an excellent lunch at Restaurant Altuna (5a Ave 12-31, restaurantealtuna.com) followed by a stroll down the pedestrian only street and the Parque Central.
|And lots of pottery|
|At the Museum of Anthropology|
|The heads carved into the back of this bench were so animated|
|The Ixchel Museum of Textiles and Clothing|
|The courtyard of the Museum of Anthropologie|
|In general you are allowed to touch nothing in|
the Ixchel Museum but they had a small section
where you could try the local headpieces (not
in handwoven fabrics of course).
|Restaurant Altuna in central Guatemala City where we|
enjoyed Spanish specialities
|Bacalao (dried salt cod) with pimentos and garlic|
|the "side dishes" with my Bacalao|
|The central room of the restaurant - the old courtyard of the|
original Colonial home.
|A look down one of the main streets|
|The enormously popular pedestrian only street that is|
bisected by the main Plaza.
|One of the covered shopping centers along the way|
|The mayor of Guatemala City wanted to give the citizens a|
taste of Christmas in snow country! Here is the "ski lift" in
the Parque Central with the Presidential Palace behind.
|The skating rink. Notice most of the people are clinging to the|
sides of the rink. After a while many managed tentative
movement to the center. There weren't many experts!
|This facade of the original Cathedral is mostly intact after|
|The interior is very bright and huge with lovely flower|
arrangements at the alters, decorated for Christmas
|Clowns and entertainers of all kinds provided fun for the many|
families that paraded the streets and park
|I loved the hats on these two boys - posing|
with one of the street "statues"
|This group of kids enjoy a rest and some snacks. Unlike the countryside, here even the girls were modern dress.|
|The new "street cars" that provide safe and comforable|
transportation on set routes through the city.