Yesterday, Monday, 3/26 we took a boat ride from “Pana” to 3 pueblos across the lake. It was in a very small boat with only 3-5 other passengers. The water was smooth in the morning, but got a little choppy at the end. The view of all the volcanic mountains was beautiful.
First, we stopped at San Marcos, a very small pueblo of maybe 1000. We had a 12 year old guide named Effram (tipped him 20 Quetzales, maybe $2.50). He spoke some English and guided us to the central square and small church, but most importantly found us a servicio (toilet). The path to the center of the village was uphill, but nothing like the other 2.
Second we went to San Pedro. Here we hired 2 Tuk Tuks for 5 Q per person (60 cents) to go to the Catholic Church with Statue of San Pedro. This town has 13,000 residents. The streets were very steep, but we managed to walk slowly back downhill. We only had one hour each at the first 2 stops.
Last was Santiago de Atitlan. This town is much bigger and bustling. The Tuk Tuk drivers and volunteer “guides” were very pushy. We tried to ignore them all and walk on our own. Very steep, but managed to find a restaurant for lunch. The walk and lunch took up most of our 1.5 hours allowed, so did not see the church and square.
We enjoyed the day and seeing the other pueblos and the indigenous residents. Most of them are very short, by genes, but also due to malnutrition as small children. There are many Mayan dialects, but Spanish is the official language. There are a few other towns to visit, so have to decide if we will take other boats on other days.