Thursday, February 12, 2009

Travel Thursday: Guatemala

Antigua Guatemala
Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala. This is the second capital of Guatemala; the first, Ciudad Vieja, is about 5 km away at the base of a volcano. What could go wrong? A mudflow that wiped out the city, is what. They moved the capital to Antigua Guatemala, which was devastated by earthquakes in 1773. So they moved it again, to Guatemala City, which in 1976 was hit by an earthquake that killed 20,000+ people.

Lest this seem like a series of bad choices, consider the alternatives available to the Spanish colonizers: the highlands, with their unpredictable and infrequent seismic events, or the lowlands, with the absolute certainty of malaria and other diseases.


ahab said...

This is one of my favorites of Tom's.

I always see the Consul staggering up this street.

Donna said...

A friend of mine is from Guatamala. She invited me to go down to visit her family with her -- she's Mayan, from some tiny village. It sounded like great fun except for that pesky Mayan genocide thing. I didn't go. She was kept in the country -- not allowed to return despite holding US citizenship. It was 6 months before she as able to leave.

Generik said...

Great shot, Tom. Love the intense blue sky.

I like the reference, ahab! Though I never read the book, I enjoyed the movie quite a bit.

Donna, that's a scary story! I'm glad your friend finally made it out.