The city of Antigua really deserves its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was my first leg of the trip, and it was perfectly picturesque. There was art everywhere, and the people were so friendly and helpful. Of course I drank the delicious Antigua coffee, which deserves its world fame, and I found a little chocolate factory where I enjoyed a delicious bar of dark chocolate with chile to accompany my delicious cup of java. Market day at Chichicastenango is not to be missed. The amazing collage of color and Mayan culture was breathtaking. I bought two Mayan jaguar masks and a beautiful skirt. I could have bought nearly everything! German, my guide, took me to a lovely little restaurant full of original art. The portions and the quality of the food there were top notch. We also were privileged to see a Mayan ceremony taking place on the steps of the church, and we toured a fascinating cemetary that looked like a multicolored miniature town. Lake Atitlan and the T'zutujil Mayan towns that I visited there were also incredible. In San Juan La Laguna, I enjoyed seeing the naif artists and the women's textile cooperative, where I witnessed a demonstration of natural dying and backstrap loom weaving techniques. I bought some original art and a scarf in that town. I also got to meet a 15-year-old painter who is doing amazing art - Joselyn Cholotio. I will definitely keep her on my radar. There is also a man of Moroccan descent in the town who roasts his own delicious coffee. The drink he prepared for me was quite a treat. In Santiago Atitlan, I was able to see vivid examples of synchretism in the old Catholic church built in 1547, along with the T'zutujil Mayan men fulfilling their cargos in the care of the revered figure of Maximon in a secret place in the town. There was also plenty of beautiful art there. No trip to Guatemala is complete without going to see the ancient ruins in the Mayan city of Tikal. While there, I saw toucans in the wild as well.