My First Six Months

Rocio in the lakeI have been operating Casa Colonial Atitlan for six months. I guess that makes it time for a status report.

First, about the guests. We have had quests from all around the world. That includes England, France, Germany, and Switzerland on the European front; the U.S. and Canada for North America and Panama and Colombia from Latin America. The “far off” places include Australia and South Africa. Finally, quite a few people from Guatemala City.

Rocio has been here less than she or I want because of being in school but she has had a chance to meet and talk with people from diverse cultures. For an 18 year old who has never been outside Guatemala and has slept away from Lake Atitlan maybe five nights in her life, this has been a real plus. BTW, that’s Rocio in the lake a bit down the road from us.

As for the guests, virtually all understand that San Antonio Palopó is not a tourist trap and they seem very happy with that. That is, they like seeing real people rather than a marketing department. It’s the same for me: in six months I have built good rapport with a local tienda, various vendors in the public market both here and in San Lucas and with the people here in general. This has been the most comfortable place I have ever lived — just because all the people are, well, real people.

My Bed and Breakfast experience? The closest I ever got to such a thing was when I had a house in Pacific Beach in Washington state, my neighbors Paul and Mim run one. Here is so different because the people who stay here are from all around the world. While most people are impressed with the area, the biggest surprise for me was people from Guatemala City. For them, a short vacation in Panajachel is typical but most commented on how tranquil and friendly San Antonio is — plus the amazing views of the lake.

What’s next? Well, I continue to improve our space and head toward producing what we use. This morning we got a bit closer to food self-sufficiency. Part of the fruit was from the property as was the spinach in the breakfast eggs. My goal is to produce all locally and we are on our way.

That’s it for now. Let’s see where we are at one year of operation.