Posted by: janetwright2guatemala | 01/08/2011

Welcoming 2011 in Antigua Guatemala!

7 enero 2011-viernes

Adios to the Old Year 2010

Whoa! A whole week into this New Year!…my 2011 resolutions include: climb 2 volcanoes in Guatemala and buy a traditional Mayan outfit to wear for special occasions. I wager a 95% chance of accomplishment!

New Year’s Eve in Antigua Guatemala was a visual and cultural treat!!!  Most of my training group friends opted for celebrating at Lake Atitlan, an admittedly gorgeous place, but truly a home to tourists…in contrast, Antigua drew Guatemalan families and tourists to its narrow streets. Shops and restaurants had carpets of pine needles adorning the sidewalk and their entryways…that is considered a festive adornment.

The show began in the streets around 3pm until 8pm, featuring dancing stiltwalkers

Festive stiltwalker-dancers

(on cobblestones!), baile del toro where a person wears a wooden frame to resemble a bull’s body with fireworks that shoot off into the crowds, and more. Stay light on your toes was good advice. Marimba bands were sprinkled everywhere with their sweet sounds .

Some observations…New Years eve is very much a family holiday here, no ditching the kids to go out and party. The whole family stays together. I loved this little “bunny girl” with her furry vest and boots…she was so totally enamored of being on stage. The performer knew a star was born and sang

Little Bunny Foo Foo- a crowd pleaser

along to her delightful dancing.

Finally at 9:30pm I reluctantly left the festivities at the central park for dinner. I enjoyed a delicious holiday meal of fajitas and Borsch at the El Caminante Hostal. Wrapped in blankets and huddled near the space heaters, at midnight we watched the sky light up in all directions with fireworks.

After the oohs and ahs, I joined some new Belgian friends to go dancing until 3am!  The evening was glowing from all the light up decorations….bunny ears, devil horns (mine are now tucked away because I live in an Evangelical town and they most likely wouldn’t appreciate that), and other whimsical shapes. Believe me, I slept well when I finally landed on my bunk.

Celebrating with my new friends, Eva and Celestine

On New Year’s Day, Eva invited me to her “hangover party” at 3pm….but none were suffering really. We ate pizza and watched TV clips on her computer. An excellent way to start a New Year! When nightfall came, a friendly neighbor invited us to look through his telescope to view Jupiter and its 4 moons. Fascinating! Staying at the hostal was a treat to meet other volunteers, even one from Honduras who was travelling with her family.

Baile de los Gigantes

So definitely a 4-star review for Antigua’s New Year celebration!..with a sincere hope that my two kids, Alex and Michelle, will journey to my adopted home to enjoy this special season in Guatemala next year.

New Years in Antigua

Feliz Ano Nuevo to all!!!



  1. Wow, Janet. Interesting, and it sounds as if you are having a great time. Missing your dancing spirit!



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