Just returned to Xela, after spending 4 days on the deepest lake in Central America, Lago de Atitlan. Nestled in Guatemala´s highlands, this lake is world renown for it´s natural beauty and picturesque views. Three major volcanoes loom over the area like watchful giants, ever present and protective. The lake itself is “volcanic in origin, filling an enormous caldera formed in an eruption 84,000 years ago.¨
I spent the first three nights in San Marcos, a smaller town overrun by yoga enthusiasts and holistic healing nuts. A great place to take a Reiki course, brush up on your yoga skills, fast silently, or overdose on organic goods. The nights were quiet in the ¨gringo¨ streets but lively in the other parts of town, busy with combo-celebrations of the coming change in the Mayan calendar and Catholic Christmas. The first night I arrived I found myself swept up in a procession consisting of a large majority of the villagers winding their way up through the hills to a neighbouring village, chanting hymns, carrying crosses and burning incense. Small children helping each other up the hill, women in the most beautiful indigos and maroons, and humble hombres hunched over their canes. Step by step, chorus by hymn, up the hill to meet the moon that smiled over the lake. Eventually we returned back to the village as the stars continued singing songs of worship.
The next few days I spent my time, meditating at my casa the Kaivalya Yoga Hostel, swinging softly in a hammock, and dining on simple veggie meals not readily available in other parts of Xela. San Marcos was a quiet piece of wellness heaven.
Yesterday I sped over by boat to San Pedro La Laguna, to meet up with two beloved friends from Vancouver who have been traveling a similar path as me the past few months. Only having 24 hours together before again parting ways, we caught up on travel tales over tea, beer, a boat ride to another lakeside town, and dinner at a San Pedro favourite; The Buddha Bar. Continued chats and cervasas on the roof of our lakeside hostel, watching the moonset and relishing in familiar company.
Alone again I´m back in Xela, ready for a very exciting day tomorrow. I´m honoured to be able to witness a Mayan ceremony held by the Mam people for the realization of the end the 13th Bak Tun. The ceremony will be held on the edge of a laguna situated in the crater of the Chicabal Volcano (northwest of Xela), a sacred and mystical place, revered and protected by the Mam Mayans.
My mind is open and ready for any change that this solstice will bring to the world. 2012 was a powerful year for almost every person I´ve encountered, and various systems of faith and religion predicted this in some shape or form. The year of the Dragon (my Chinese birthsign), the ending of the Bak Tun, and other celestial alignments. I am thankful for the amazing opportunities the universe provided this year and my heart is bursting with love and respect for every single soul I know.
Catch you on the flipside…