Sunday, December 18, 2011

Las Fuentes Georginas & Further Musings

Yesterday we spent the day at Las Fuentes Georginas. The Fuentes are water pools heated by the volcano near Zunil. After about 45 minutes in our Microbus Privado, we arrived at the Fuentes. There are two pools about 200 meters below the entrance that are very secluded and there was nobody there for the four hours or so that we were. We went with some of the other students from our Spanish school as well as one of the Guatemalan families who had cousins visiting from the capital. The water was very fresh and minerally. It was very soothing for the body and mind to sit in the hot water and relax. Apparently, the city girls weren't used to the altitude as one of the girls got a little sick after climbing back up from the lower Fuentes. We grabbed a quick lunch at the restaurant near the upper Fuentes and relaxed there for another few hours. One of those pools was really too hot to sit in. The water also had sort of an acidy/citrusy/sulfuric taste to it, not too surprising as it passed through a volcano on it's way to the Fuentes, which is why the water is hot. (the nearby towns have no problems with hot showers!) There are also some cabins near the Fuentes that you can rent out for about 160 quetzals/day per person and then have access to the pools at night. Coming home was quite an adventure as well, after coming down the mountain, we got hit by a big truck in an intersection in Zunil. Everyone was fine, and the damage was cosmetic, but auto insurance isn't exactly the norm in these parts. The driver ended up arguing with the other driver for about forty five minutes while we clogged up the only major intersection in town, and a crowd of about thirty people formed. After a while, the other driver seemed to give in, since he had backed into us, and we went on our way. We got home and were very tired, had some dinner and went to sleep. So here we are, refreshed, hanging out at a coffee shop with live music, studying Spanish for our upcoming week of classes.

On our way home from the Fuentes, a few of us had an interesting conversation. Here in Quetzaltenango, it seems the norm for middle class families to have a helper/maid/cook five or six days a week, yet that comes before other conveniences of daily life. For example, it's common to have a maid, cable, wireless internet, and hot water. However, despite the near freezing temperatures at night, the homes have no heat. It's interesting that here, having a maid five or six days a week is very affordable, the equivalent of a few dollars a day, yet the gas for central heat is much too expensive. It is almost the opposite in America where any home in a region that gets cold would have heat long before wireless internet, not to mention the daily help of a maid. Looks like we will be staying here in Quetzaltenango until new years, and then maybe hike to Lago Atitlan, so if you're interested, book your flight now!


  1. El Cuartito eggnog lattes son muy deliciosos Mateo!