I’m making my way down the cobblestones of Arch Street, on my way to meet friends for a glass of wine. As I arrive, the bells of the 17th-century cathedral ring in the hour.
Antigua, in the Department of Sacatepéquez, Guatemala, is one of Latin America’s best preserved colonial towns.
With a population of 40,000 people, it’s full of white-washed and pastel-colored churches. Purple flowering jacaranda trees dot the Central Park and the clip-clop sounds of horses pulling buggies mingle with the laughter of uniformed children on their way to school.
A year on and I’m still convinced I made the right decision to stay. I ended my Peace Corps service in Guatemala in February last year. I had been here two years, but I realized I still wasn’t ready to leave the country. I didn’t want to give up the combination of a delightful climate, good friends (a mix of locals and expats alike), and affordable living.
I enjoy the leisurely pace of life here. People take the time to stop and chat on the street. You can join other expats and locals for an outdoor morning yoga class, looking out over colonial ruins. I delight in sipping a cup of locally-grown coffee in the outdoor garden at Cafe Condesa and nibbling on a fresh-baked scone as I check my email via their WiFi service. And you can easily walk from place to place. The climate sees to that, 75 F and sunny most days.
And you are never far from home. There are easy direct flights to the U.S. For example, Dallas is just over two hours by plane. In addition, there are non-stop flights to Atlanta, Los Angeles, Houston, and Chicago. Transport is also readily available if you want to travel around the country or region.Read on…