San Pedro and the longing for empty spaces

San Pedro, Guatemala, Lake Atitlan

Arriving in San Pedro was by no means a surprise because I had no expectations for neither San Pedro nor Guatemala.

San Pedro de Laguna is a relatively small village (although not as small as I could wish for) on the shores of Lake Atitlan. It has 13.000 inhabitants spread out on the hillside.

Obviously San Pedro is very different from Asia where I have spent a long time. It’s much less developed than Thailand, but it is also much more traditional which has its own charm. The people here are very friendly and despite a growing tourism not jaded and unfriendly.

But don’t let this fool you San Pedro have been discovered many years ago and is not your "undiscovered paradise". It’s a growing village living from tourist, coffee and maize. It has everything from beautiful scenery, kayak trips, horse riding, restaurants, market, and internet shops to bars and drug problems.

We arrived at the end of the rainy season and thus the landscape was very damp, cloudy and misty. My feelings for the country are mixed. The people seem very nice despite the horrors of the past, the landscape is also beautiful, but the country suffers from the same problems as other developing (and developed) countries pollution. They still cook with firewood so three times a day the village of San Pedro is smoky wherever you go and it makes me long for empty spaces with neither people nor buildings just nature.

I admit though that I have had this longing for a very long time now Chiang Mai was too big and polluted for me, Copenhagen also contains too much cement for me too many people, too many cars, too much development. The older I have gotten the less of a city person I am I long for peace and quiet and stopping smoking (nearly 2 years ago) has not made me more tolerant to pollution, smoke, dust, fumes and all the other things that big cities "offer" on the contrary.

I suppose ideally I would live in a very deserted place surrounded by nature, sea, animals and with very few inhabitants I know it sounds like Alaska .however, I couldn’t live in such a cold place. I hate darkness and cold so more like the south pole than the north pole 30 degrees all year round is great J Any suggestions?

2 thoughts on “San Pedro and the longing for empty spaces”

  1. !Hola, Tina!
    ?Que tal hoy?
    No hablo espanol,
    pero es muy interesante estudiar espanol.

    Denmark was selected as the happiest country
    in the world this year.
    It’s a mystery that you don’t feel at ease
    when you’re in Copenhagen.
    Now, you might like Tokio least of all.
    Anyway, it’s a relief to know
    that you stopped smoking after all.

    I hope your longing for peace and quiet
    will fully be satisfied someday and somewhere.
    Until then, love nature, animals and
    your dearest people.

    !Hasta la vista!


    P.S. Fui a Bangkok y Ayutthaya.

  2. Hey Hitomi

    Lovely to hear from you -long time -no speak!

    Yes, thank God I finally stopped smoking (2 years ago)…I guess better late than never…what an awful way to destroy yourself…

    I think you would enjoy studying Spanish a lot since you are talented with languages. Are you working as an English teacher now?

    With love

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