As we gear up for our 2024 mission trips to Antigua, Guatemala, we can’t help but get super excited about the incredible culture we get to experience year after year in this fantastic city. Antigua is a place where history, traditions, and culture mingle in the most beautiful way. Join us as we discuss 7 of our favorite cultural treasures of this remarkable city.
1. Colonial Architecture:
Antigua, Guatemala, is like a living history book with its mind-blowing Spanish colonial buildings. Picture yourself wandering through its cobblestone streets, checking out churches, monasteries, and courtyards that look like they’re straight out of a movie. Don’t miss the Cathedral of San José, La Merced Church, and the Santa Catalina Arch – they’re all awesome!
2. Mayan Heritage:
Did you know that Antigua is a gateway to Guatemala’s rich Mayan culture? The local Kaqchikel Maya people have been keeping their cultural traditions alive for centuries. When you visit local markets, like Chichicastenango, you can watch Mayan rituals and shop for some seriously cool textiles, ceramics, and handcrafted goods – all of which showcase the amazing indigenous culture.
3. Semana Santa (Holy Week) Party:
If you happen to be in Antigua during Holy Week, you’re in for a cultural extravaganza. The Semana Santa celebrations are next level, with street processions, colorful alfombras (carpets made from sawdust and flowers), and dramatic religious reenactments. It’s all about the deep-rooted Catholic traditions and a bucket-list experience.
4. Foodie Paradise:
Guatemalan food is a flavor explosion influenced by the Mayans, Spanish, and Africans. You’ve got to try Pepián (a spicy stew), Rellenitos (sweet plantain pastries), Kak’ik (turkey soup), and wash it all down with world-renowned Guatemalan coffee and hot chocolate made from local cacao.
5. Nature and Volcanoes:
As stunning volcanoes surround the city, nature is a big part of Antigua’s culture. Hiking the Pacaya volcano or taking a scenic tour is a must for nature lovers. You’ll quickly see how this incredible landscape has shaped local life and culture.
6. Art and Craftsmanship:
Antigua is an art haven with tons of galleries and workshops. Get ready to feast your eyes on colorful paintings, intricate ceramics, and handmade textiles. It’s a shopper’s paradise!
7. Language and Connection:
While Spanish is the official language, many Guatemalans, especially in indigenous communities, speak Mayan languages. So, don’t be shy about picking up a few local phrases. It’s a fantastic way to connect with the culture and the people.
A Mix of Old and New Wonders
As we gear up for our 2024 missions to Antigua, Guatemala, we can’t wait to dive headfirst into these cultural wonders and much more. Antigua’s culture is a vibrant mix of old and new, indigenous and colonial vibes, making it the perfect destination for all kinds of travelers. Whether you’re into jaw-dropping architecture, fascinated by Mayan traditions, or want to soak up the cultural buzz of the city, Antigua promises an unforgettable journey into the heart of Guatemala’s rich heritage.
Stay tuned for more updates on our upcoming mission, where we’ll experience the culture and get our hands dirty with some meaningful work. We’ll have the opportunity to complete construction projects, such as building a home or chicken coop for a needy family. We will also reach out to the community by delivering food and teaching in a local school. Click the button below to learn more.