Yolkobsens are retuning to Antigua Guatemala, after meeting, courting and falling in love with each other and there. We got married in Canada, pledging vows to each other, but now after a year we realize that our combined heart longs for Antigua again.
So we’ve rented a house and are setting up a life there together. Why?
The weather is not a small consideration. Few places in the world offer a near year-round temperature with highs in the mid 70s Fahrenheit and lows in the low 50s at night. From October to May it doesn’t rain all that much and there are mostly sunny days. Good for the body and spirit.
Finding yourself in a town that is characterized by the Spanish colonial style, put in place in the 16th century and built and rebuilt post earthquake and changing times, is a treat every day. To a North American who considers a 100-year-old building “ancient,” this daily meditation on history and continuity is a never-ending journey. Every walk reveals a new nook, aspect or perspective not seen on the last walk.
I never pass the ruins of the El Carmen Church, built by the Spanish fathers in the 18th century and destroyed by earthquake, save the facade, without thinking of the sheer force of will it took to put it in place (or the slavery of the Mayans forced to build it) and the ultimate force, the 1771 earthquake, that ruined it.
Ruin or not, it is intact as a historic marker and never ceases to amaze as I make my way to the kiosk nearby to buy more phone credits for my cell phone.
The Parque Central is a place to meet by appointment and chance expat and Guatemalan friends alike. Stopping to sit on a shady bench for a few minutes or a few hours is a joy. This is a town made for friendship.
While there’s nothing wrong with Toronto’s hustle and bustle, we are so looking forward to taking our time to get re-acquainted with a very good friend, Antigua itself.