Santiago de Atitlan is a fairly large city on the banks of the lake. There are many aspects of the Mayan culture that are fully integrated in the daily lives of the folks here. For example, there is the Maximon (pronounced Mah shee mon). This is a special statue that is set at one home for a period of a year. During that time the homeowner's take care of the statue like it is a part of the family. In fact, they usually don't work for a year to take care of the statue. Villagers come by and make offerings and drop off cash for the caretakers. After a year the statue goes to a new home. We wanted to find Maximon and pay tribute but arrived on Sunday and the city was shut down for market day. We almost got the car stuck in the narrow allies two times trying to get out. To say the town was gridlocked is a complete understatement.
|Santiago de Atitlan is at the end of a bay on the lake|
|The view of the town from the Bamboo Inn|
|An early morning fisherman on a wooden boat|
|The water level of the lake fluctuates tremendously and is best seen by the palm in the background submerged 8 feet under water. This is probably one the reasons many of the Mayans choose to live in the hills rather than near the water.|
|Look anywhere and you'll probably see a volcano. I have to say the view are stunning in the highlands.|