Popular Posts

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Xela, Guatemala so affordable

I do not usually write about anything too commercial here on this site. 
I have another Blog <http://www.experiencemyxela.blogspot.com> which you can take a look at if you want and see what that is all about. That site visits places I find in my walks and exploration of this amazing city called Xela. I guess I just got a little too excited to let it just sit in one place. So if you are interested here it is for you to explore.


Coming to Quetzaltenago (Xela)?
Why not experience something truly unique. We offer luxury accommodation at a bargain price.  The room which includes a queen size bed cozy quilts, soft comforting pillows also comes with a luxurious continental breakfast. 

We are located in a secure expansive apartment with lofty open beamed ceilings (yes there is even a hammock in the living room).  It is steps away from Parque Central, fine restaurant and bars, a market, yes truly close to  everything.  If you are coming to learn Spanish we know of and can arrange excellent Spanish schools or private teachers. If you are just here to spend some quality time in Xela we can offer you private personalized tours, outings with a difference and a chance to experience Xela and surrounding areas in a more personal way.

Rates: Q550 person or Q800 a couple.
Reservations by email. 
Verification 48 hours prior to arrival is required.
502-5987-0574 or 502-4711-1038

But do not take my word for it, check it out for yourself.



Thursday, 15 November 2012

Nirvana en Guatemala

Nirvana... is the state of profound peace of mind.
That is what I found by living and experiencing Guatemala.

It is said that Costa Rica now being so overcrowded by expats and foreigners that the country has become very expensive to live in. The climate and the beauty of the country remain but you must experience that at a higher price.

The next place that became popular for people to retire in was Nicaragua. It was that hidden jewel. Now people are discovering Guatemala, a country with eternal spring. Antigua and Panajachel both have healthy and growing expat populations. But there are several hidden areas still untapped, still very affordable.

Mmmm now should I tell you where they are, or leave that unspoiled beauty alone... because we all know what happens over time. The prices will go up, the local people will move out and the expat colonies will rule as they do in Costa Rica. That is already starting in some popular places here in Guatemala. But over time all will know the secrets that Guatemala holds. All will come...

So if you want to get in while the getting in is good, maybe you should contact me.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

WE ALL SURVIVED... 2012 - END OF DAYS...Guatemala

I originally wrote this....

Where will you be 
as the world as we know it 

On December 21, 2012, sometime on that Sunday, the 13th Baktun or long count of the Maya calender is going to end. The full cycle of the long count also symbolizes the Maya "story of creation or the Pop Vue."

Some people believe that everything, yes the world as we know it, will come to some sort of planet lining up, pole shifting, cataclysmic ending. 


Earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, polar shifts, tidal waves, toppling buildings, car swallowing sink holes, erupting fires, yes all manner of disasters... will occur. 

How Cheery.

If the world is about to end of course, you can actually  forego your mortgage or car payment. 


Yet just in the slightest chance, in that minuscule what if nothing happens event, that absolutely nothing will happen scenario, you should probably make that payment. Because you see, in all of this speculation lives that slightest hope that all humanity shares, that nothing will actually happening at all, and that life as we know it will be just the same as it was on the day before. That spiritual transformation and pseudoscience will take a back seat to reality.

The end of time occurs on a Sunday, so perhaps you could have a small low key party with family or friends. Yes get together Saturday night just to celebrate. Celebrate that wonderful ending to come or, just to celebrate nothing.

Another option of course is that if you actually believe in that doom and gloom possibility, you could just sit on your balcony or terrace or patio and watch the impending doom as planet Nibiru plunges towards you. What a glorious site that would be. Better make sure all your cameras are ready and geared up to record that event.

In either case there is very little anyone can do unless you have secretly been building some sort of time travel machine or spaceship. I just wonder where you will go? Got any plans?

In any event the very best place of course to experience this apocalyptic event is right here where it all began. Right here in Maya country. Right here in Guatemala. That is exactly what I am doing.

So you out there reading this, yes you, as time is short, doom is impending, we do not much time left, etc, etc... you must get the very next flight you can find and come here right now. Come to Guatemala immediately and without delay. 

No need to bring much with you, as after-all you won't need it, will you. And just in case nothing happens, my how boring, you can still have a really great experience, a great time, just by being here. 

Oh and let me know if you are coming to my party, 
space is really limited on my spaceship.


Ok..... but...

That is what I originally wrote... and well mmmm we are all still here right?? And I am and planning to continue to be here on this planet called earth for as long as I am needed here.
How about you?
Hope so....

Sunday, 21 October 2012


ACTIVE SENIORS... Lets do it!

El Mirador is a large pre-Colombian Maya settlement that was discovered in 1926. It had a population of 80,000 people. It lays deep in the jungle of the department of Peten in northern Guatemala. It was a large trading centre from 300 BCE to 150 CE during the preclassic period.


To get to El Mirador today involves a two to three days trek with pack horses or mules. The journey alone is both arduous and demanding. Camping is primitive as you sleep in hammocks or primitive shelters. Sturdy footwear and the ability to hike 10 km per day is mandatory. The weather is tropical and humid. Mosquito repellent is a must. 

Now that the rainy season has ended are you ready for this?
I will arrange everything for your trip.

Are you coming?

Monday, 17 September 2012

Guatemala, Moments to Treasure

It was Independence Day in Guatemala. It was a day of celebration, parades, loud music, fiestas, fireworks.... and massive crowds. The population here in Xela had doubled for the event. There where  even people from Guatemala City here. It seems that Quetzaltenango or Xela (shay-la) does that, attracts people from everywhere like a magnet. The tourist, expats and travellers where there and we usually stand out. But with the huge influx of Guatemalans here our presence just disappeared.

I was on the street sharing conversations with a local business person I am friendly with, as two young girls approached us. One girl was maybe five and the older one maybe seven. I had seen them before and they always walked about with a clear bag of coloured candy suckers to sell. 

They where scruffy looking and wore ill fitting clothes. They maybe needed a wash. But I noticed that they where not pushy and shared honest open smiles with people. All they did was just walk about asking people to buy what they offer. A simple candy sucker.

I remember motioning to the older girl that I was interested. She approached and I took a shiny Quetzal and placed it into her hand. Then she stretched out her hand to me, offering me that bag and my choice of colour.

"Ummm" my voice sounded, as I searched for something perfect. Her eyes watched me play with all the coloured suckers in the bag. Finally after awhile I pulled out a red one saying "roja, perfecto." 

I held that red sucker in front of me and in direct contact with her eyes and then smiling I suddenly dropped the sucker back into her bag. The look in her eyes was priceless. Her eyes expressed surprise, astonishment and wonder. Then her dirty little face lit up and she beamed back a smile to me that broke my heart. 

Later as she walked away she glanced back over her shoulder at me, holding that Quetzal in her hand. It was hers. 

All the money collected from children all goes to help support their families. This coin was hers.

Moments to treasure. She made my day special.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Memories so sweet those Mountains and Rainy Days

Guatemala has two seasons. One is the dry season and runs from around November to May. The other is the rainy season and runs from May to October. Of course this year it started to rain in February. I am writing this in the month of June and yes it is raining.

It does not rain all day, just usually in the late afternoon or evening. Of course last night it rained all night and then all morning today. When the rainy season starts it is more of a light rain and later into the year we get some real down pours. Here like everything else that varies as well and sometimes varies quite a lot.

So in the rainy season (more or less) the morning starts off cool. The sun arrives and quickly heats up everything. Later in the afternoon we see some clouds rolling in. Then comes that rain. The nights at this elevation 2330 metres (7600 ft) are always cool and comfortable to sleep with even if its raining.

I must be a mountain guy. That all started out with the love of the mountains in the northern part or Wales where I was born. In Wales there are the Brecon Beacons, Cumbrian and Snowdonia ranges with Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales sitting at 1085 metres (3560 ft). On the southern end of the Snowdonia range is Cader Idris meaning "Gaints Chair. Idris being a giant from Welsh Mythology. Seeing it sitting like a giants chair, conjured up all sorts of imagery in my young mind at the time.

After moving to Canada and growing up in Ontario, I had to search out mountains there. Most people do not know but in an area just south of Sudbury Ontario in Killarney Provincial Park, there are the old growth mountains known as Lac Loche Mountains. They are laced with quartzite peaks that look like snow and ice. They once towered higher that the rockies their white quartzite and pink granite rocks sliding into deep lakes and water passages.

Later the western part of Alberta and it's ever stunning and grandiose Rocky Mountains captured years of my interest with camping, hikes and many scrambles.

Then in British Columbia I discovered several mountain ranges other than the Canadian Rocky Mountains that everyone seems to know about. British Columbia has many mountain ranges. The Selkirks, Purcells, Kootenays, Cassier, Columbia, Coastal Cascades and the Vancouver Island range to name a few. It was the coastal mountain vistas on the Pacific coast of BC that caught my attention lastly.

There is here a connection, between seasons, rain and mountains. 

Wales has its fair share of both mountains and rain. Ontario has hidden old maintains and rain. Alberta has mountains two seasons and some rain. BC is know for many mountains, coastal beauty and rain. Guatemala has its western highlands with mountains, two seasons and rain.

So wherever I seem to live I have either two seasons to deal with, certainly lots of mountainous terrian and yes pleanty of that rain.

I must love mountains and rain.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Mucho Gracias

A thank you my friends.
I have been writing and caring for this blog for several months now. I am not quitting as it has been fun, rewarding and I have learned a lot.

gracias a ustedes, mis amigos.
He estado escribiendo y el cuidado de este blog desde hace varios meses. No estoy quitting como lo ha sido divertido, gratificante y he aprendido mucho.

I write in English. I should be writing in Spanish as well. It is a difficult language to learn. It is complicated for me. Yes I should try harder.

Yo escribo en Inglés. Debería estar escribiendo en espanol así. Es un idioma difícil de aprender. Es complicado para mí. Sí que debo esforzarme más.

I am cheating and I am yes using the translator from Google. But aside from that I also do know some phrases as well. I can understand and read more than I can write. Little by little.

Puedo usar el traductor de Google. También sé que algunas frases así. Puedo entender y leer más de lo que puedo escribir. Poco a poco.

There is never a shortage of things to write about. Lately I write more about life here than travel to here.

Nunca hay una escasez de cosas para escribir. Últimamente escribo más sobre la vida aquí que en los viajes que aqui

I have a few projects I am working on. One to provide housing for people that have no land or hope. It is a large project. With many Guatemalan people I am starting an NGO to do this.

Tengo unos cuantos proyectos que estoy trabajando. Uno de proporcionar vivienda a las personas que no tienen tierra o la esperanza. Se trata de un gran proyecto. Con muchos guatemaltecos que estoy empezando una organización no gubernamental para hacer esto.

Another project is to help people who want to go to Canada. We will look for jobs for people in Canada. Proceeds from this go to the housing project

Otro proyecto es ayudar a la gente que quiere ir a Canadá. Vamos a buscar puestos de trabajo para personas en Canadá. Producto de esto, vaya a el proyecto de vivienda.

I am not writing you this to brag. I just wanted to connect to all my readers all across the world. I appreciate your many comments. You are very supportive. I write for you. I hope to continue to provide information and knowledge to you.

Yo no estoy escribiendo esto para presumir. Yo sólo quería conectarse a todos mis lectores en todo el mundo. Agradezco sus comentarios muchos. Usted es un gran apoyo. Escribo para ti. Espero que siga proporcionando información y el conocimiento para usted.


Monday, 23 April 2012

Guatemala something really different

An incredible place to be
here we want to do something
 really different

Something Different


La construccion de la esperanza
Building Hope.

To construct a safely built home in Guatemala is about the cost of buying a used car in Canada or the US. Add in a small parcel of land and we are looking at purchasing a fairly decent new car. Being cost effective, maybe it is better to build more than one home. Maybe for the price of a small used car lot, we can build a small village.

A small village can be put together complete with a school, water collection system, sewage and waste collection and recycling, solar power for very little funding.

grande sueño
Dream Big.

Join me in a dream to build a village.

We are in the process of putting together a non government organization (NGO) that will provide homes for those in dire need of a place to call home. A home that provides basis shelter and safety. 

There are many well known organizations that do this yes, but a candidate for a home often needs to own their own land first. It is that collateral for the bank loan.

What happens to those people that have no land? 
Who will help them? 
Who will care and love them enough to give them a home. 

We want to

Please join in this first step by sharing this dream. 
Please help to make it a reality.
Tell a friend, tell ten people, tell the world.

Guatemala sits on eight fault lines. Guatemala suffers its fair share of seismic activity or earthquakes. Guatemala is constantly moving, shifting. Most earthquakes are minor but some do take their toll on property and the loss of human life. 

The earthquake that hit Haiti was felt in Guatemala as they both share that same fault line. Aftershocks were many and intense. 

To construct a home in such conditions means a shift in present day building methods. To do this effectively without incurring too much added cost means thinking smarter. 

It is very possible to build housing using the same building materials that are presently used today in Guatemala. Homes that are built in a way that makes them safe for most seismic activity.

Using present day construction materials keeps costs down. We just have to use them a little differently. There are many different ways of construction that are affordable, strong and safe. Some experimental housing has been done using large shipping containers, rubber tires, rammed earth, earth bags, etc.

What we also have to look at aside from affordability and structural integrity is that people want to live in a house that looks just like their neighbours, not something from outer space. 

Purchasing land for a single home is expensive. That is why our plan calls for a village. To keep costs down we will build on raw land. Each house will have its own small tract of land for micro-farming. If in an area not near a power grid, we can use photvoltiac energy. Solar power is already in use in remote villages.

Water will be collected from ground source and treated using UV sterilaization. Waste water from washing can be recycled for irrigation use. Black water treated in a septic system in conjunction with either ozone or ultra violet light.  

We are always looking for people who know a better way. We are looking for people that want to assist in any way what-so-ever. Join us.

 It is all possible... so... 

Get involved.
Lets build a village together. 
Lets build hope

Únete a mí
Construir un pueblo en conjunto
la esperanza.

Please help 

To preserve and to create dignity, this project will not involve charity. Using a system of low non-interest payments each family will pay back the cost of their home over a fixed period. When the loan is paid in full the house and land will be freehold. Monies collected will be for the ongoing maintenance, further building expansion, local management, etc.

A common building structure will also be constructed that will provide for schooling for children as well as for adults. It will also be used for group gatherings and meetings. Education for adults will include micro-farming, sustainable business ventures, computers, first aid, carpentry, welding, hairdressing, beautician, etc.

The dream is no longer just a dream it is real. There are many people involved now and that number is growing. It is such an exciting time.

An NGO needs at least seven people to begin its journey. There are several Guatemalan people already involved. Volunteers will be needed. Fund raising will come from both private business ventures and private sources. I personally have many ideas on how to accomplish this. But I am no longer alone in this project.

We want your ideas. 
We want your help.

Join us, help us to build a village.

Help us to help the people. 

You can Contact me personally for any additional information... 
Gavin (Gavino) Jones
Quetzaltenango (Xela)


Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Immigration "GET TO CANADA NOW"

 Immigration to Canada.

Update: In Canada we have a new prime minister. With this new liberal government a lot of changes have happened. A lot of changes have happened for people wanting to immigrate into Canada.

While the process is much more simpler now, the only real hurdle to overcome is the economy of Canada. With the drop in oil prices, our dollar has also dropped in value. A drop in the value of the Canadian dollar, means several things. In some areas of Canada it has produced unemployment that is very high.

Yes we recently allowed 25,000 Syrian refugees entry into Canada. This was a wonderful humanitarian gesture. More projects like this will follow. But there are many Canadians already living in Canada that have no work. The problem is always the same. The trade unions will stop or try to stop new immigrants from coming to Canada. They are protecting the people already here. 

So people wishing to come to Canada Now, have to have the patience to wait. To wait until the economy of Canada is better. 

You can do all of this by yourself. You not need me. 

Good luck and please have patience.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

RETIRE in Guatemala, Never so Affordable and...

Retirement in Guatemala was never so affordable.

It is a renters and yes most certainly a buyers market. 
Not to mention yes that the food is so fresh and good and plentiful and so very inexpensive. 

Living in Guatemala means a diet that rarely is composed of any packaged or pre-prepared foods. No more boxed food.

Transportation options are there for you to take advantage of and so easy to acquire and yes varied. 

Travel between major destinations can be had for very little. You can take tourist shuttle buses, collectivos or even rent your own private shuttle bus. First class buses (like those used in Europe) are a pure luxury way for you to travel  Pullmans are buses that are still very comfortable and were probably old greyhound buses at one time. Pullman buses travel from one city destination to another city and do not pick anyone up along the route. They do have washrooms, but these are usually locked up.

Chicken buses are the least expensive and usually cost about a third of the price of a pullman bus. Chicken buses are old school buses from the USA that are painted in garish colours and have lots of chrome. 

I would recommend everyone should take at least one (short destination) trip on a Chicken bus. You will be crammed in with three people on a seat that is designed to carry children, but most Guatemalan people are small so they fit in quite well. Sometimes there will be three people on each seat and on the isle one person will straddle across the aisle.

There will be loud music blared from speakers in the bus 
some latin tune and the driver will think he is some gran prix racer as the bus careens along mountain roads. It is that one experience you should have.   

The people here are the friendliest in Latin America. 

Crime of course it happens but no matter what people may say, well crime here is very low. I have never ever once felt threatened.

I came here in 2010 to learn a language. 
Instead I found my heart. My plan was to study some Spanish for a month and then I would travel down to Nicaragua to work volunteering with children. It was all set up and in place. 

Well, I never left Guatemala for Nicaragua. I am still here in Xela. My heart will always be here, no matter where other journeys take me. 

Aside from living in an incredible friendly place, living costs are unbelievable cheap. Renting an apartment close to the centre of the city, or a small house is easy and is so incredible affordable. You can rent a small house in Xela for as little as $2400 a year. 

Yes thats a year! 

Try and do that anywhere else. Electricity is very inexpensive and should run for about $10 to $15 a month. 

People often ask me what I do each day in Guatemala? 
Well that is easy to answer. I help people. 
Finding my heart, I found that I really like to help people.

ayudar a las personas

I do this help in a variety of ways. I do not belong to a registered volunteer group, preferring to help and to assist in other ways. I have no allusions that in a few shorts weeks I will change a people.... but....

"I do it my way."

I have helped support a family here (a long term) and I am telling you this not to pat myself on the back, but just to explain how satisfying that can be. A simple gift of understanding and love and giving.

I have also help a local theatre group in planning and promotion.

I find people that need help or connections or assistance and I find ways to help them or connect them to other people that can help them better.

I write this blog to try and get people like you interested in being here and thus supporting the local communities.
I just started writing another blog... which you can check out if you want. It features the most interesting thing to experience while in Xela, Guatemala....

I assist local people that want a to have a new life in Canada... I do this with information.

I am also in the planning stages to build a village. It is a village for people that have no land or hope.While there are many groups that will assist someone to build a house, they will only do so if a person has land. Some of these organizations appear to help the helpless, but their true intentions hide behind the guise of charity when looking closer you will discover a business instead. A well known group comes to mind. If your thinking what I think you are thinking, you are very right. 

I am helping with promotion and awareness for the only Montessori school in Xela, the second in Guatemala.

Below is a little about that school...

Mi Casita Montessori 

Two years ago in Guatemala I met a pretty young woman. I spoke little Spanish and she spoke no English. I was in Guatemala on a temporary basis and any thoughts of moving that meeting into any form of any type of friendship were far from my mind. 

Shirley worked in a small cafe called El Cuartito Cafe in Xela, Guatemala. elcuartitocafe.blogspot.com  
Shirley often served me food and beverages. I never forgot her sparkling smile and her beautiful eyes. 

Surprisingly, I later met Shirley online by accident and since then I have become friends with her. On my first trip to Guatemala that language barrier prevented me from finding out who the real Shirley was, beyond the smiles.

I learned later that Shirley had trained in university in Guatemala and was a psychologist. She also taught the Spanish language. Shirley was far more than the woman I knew in that little cafe in Xela, Guatemala.

Shirley has also recently started up the first Montessori school in Xela. It is called Mi Casita Montessori and is the second such official Montessori school in all of Guatemala.  

Montessori is a different way of learning through practical experience. Each child learning through their own developmental needs. The teacher learning through the child. 

Through the good work and efforts of others that believed in Shirley and her dream, money was donated and generated for this project. Her training, the supplies needed for the school as well as the construction material to build the school where all through the efforts of volunteers. Shirley is now a fully qualified Montessori teacher operating an authentic Montessori experience.

Help is still needed.
Help for Mi Casita Montessori is ongoing.
Shirley wanted give back and to help her people, especially the children. 

Take a look at her website and learn more about this incredible young woman. 

A woman with a dream to help others.
Shirley is very special. 
Someone I consider a very special person and friend.


SO ...

So if you are thinking of retiring? Why not look at Guatemala as an option. I am certainly glad I did.

When you get here, if you want, allow me to show you around... If you're open to helping others, help me build a village and give hope and a new life to people who have no hope, who have nothing.

Help me to help the people

Open your heart
it is such a wonderful experience. 


If you....

Need a place to live? I can show you where are the best places are. Whether you are going rent or purchase or construct a home. 

You need to know people you can trust. I know the people.

Need a guide? I can get you a reliable person or company.

Need to know where to stay when travelling? Ask me.

Buying food or exploring a market place, getting a sumptuous meal in a great restaurant, travel tips, just ask.

Helping people is what I do... why not join me. 


Where I live when I am in Guatemala, a city called Quetzaltenango or Xela (shay-la)... In Xela you will experience cool nights and warm days, no humidity and no BUGS!!!! It is an awesome place to be. I couldn't think of living anywhere else....

So see you soon 

Monday, 2 April 2012

Guatemala, Dad and God

When you wake up early or even late and you have this thought in your head, some idea, well you really need to get it down. Get it down on paper, or as we do in today's world, capture it in some form of electronic media.

I woke up thinking about my being here in Guatemala, my dad and God. Yes all these thoughts they are all connected. My dad was good man and a man of God. I was born the son of a Presbyterian minister. My dad was truly, in all senses of the word a man of God. His humanity was intact in that he had doubts. It is in those doubts he had, that I hold him in great awe.

I did not then, nor now share his religious beliefs. What my dad and I did/do share is that connection to something far greater than man alone can be. The existence of God within.

Many faiths introduce their children to their beliefs at an early age. The children are conditioned to believe in something that they have no capacity to understand decide or otherwise. 

This is conditioning. 

They grow up as adults believing what they where told to believe and do so without question. They have been conditioned to believe.

But have they traveled down that road of  uncertainty? 
Have they questioned what has been told to them?
Have they come to their own conclusions? 

The rote system of learning has conditioned them not to do this, not to question. The have been indoctrinated.

My personal experience of God is that God is within me. 
To get to this personal conclusion I struggled.
I went through doubts. 
I questioned.
I challenged.
I disbelieved.

My belief in God is recent. 
It is also beautiful, pure and free of other thoughts. 

I feel a connection to God. 
I need no church or edifice to worship or connect with God. 
I need no priest or minister to be that middle person.

My father shared this great connection as well. 
He also had his doubts, his period of disbelief.
It was within his journey that he needed to share this experience with others. He did what he believed in and became what he was, a teacher in the ministry of God. He was really good in what he did.

I came to Guatemala to learn a language and that is ongoing. What happened on my journey, my quest, was that I found my heart. What I also found was a greater connection. A greater connection to God. 

I would like to share a short personal story to illustrate what I mean.

In 1997, when I was still placing paint to canvas I had this uncontrollable urge to paint some pyramid shape with small box like structures in the foreground. I could not get it out of my mind. 

So as I always did, I built a frame and over it I stretched a canvas. 

I had this painting table I had built. I am tall and like to paint a canvas standing up where the canvas lays semi flat. I prefer it that way as I liked lots of washes and I could could control the flows easily.

I sized the canvas with a mix of white paint and glue. If you paint you know this makes the canvas tight, just like a drum. It also gives you something to paint against. Otherwise bare canvas will suck your paint away, lines undefined blotched irregular.

I had made some sketches of this shape that I wanted to produce. 

My usual condition when painting something new was that I would stare at a canvas waiting for something to happen. It was like a sculpture waiting to be released from the stone.

This time this was very different. 
This time the shape had captivated my being, my very existence. 

I had made some sketches to follow, but used none of them. It was like something else was in control, something greater was placing the paint to canvas. The whole thing was completed so very quickly. It was finished without changes. 

When I finished it I felt relieved and I put it somewhere and forgot about it entirely.


In 2010 on my first visit to Guatemala I thought I was coming to learn a language. Guatemala being the least expensive and easiest place to learn Spanish all I needed to do was find the right location and the right school. I chose Quetzaltenango or Xela (Shay-la) because of its elevation (2330 metres) and because it was that cradle of culture. That focus on learning and a large population of indigenous people where all factors I felt I somehow needed and where important.

I remember sitting in a bar within Pasaje Enrique, enjoying a cervesa and reviewing some of the pictures I had taken on my tiny point and shoot digital camera. 

I remember one that made me say "what's that?" 

I remember moving the frames backward to see it again. 

The image startled me beyond reason. 

There captured in the tiny frame was something totally impossible. There captured was my picture, the one I had painted some 13 years before.

I remember saying out-loud to myself feelings the shivers running down my spine, "this can't be." I was visible shocked.

When I painted that picture back in 1979, I had absolutely no knowledge of Guatemala, except it was some place on a map.

I had never seen any picture of the Volcan Santa Maria before.

Yet there it was on my camera and there is was somewhere in Canada as a painting I had done some 13 years before. 

This was truly impossible. 
Yet now it was very real and yes very possible.
It happened.

So what does this all mean? 
Well whatever your conclusions are, I believe that I was meant to come here. I believe that the seed was sown within me back in 1997. It was a hint from something greater. My connection to God was now becoming very real. It was scary.

What I do here in Guatemala is help people. I do not belong to any organized group to do that. I have several projects on many different levels and that seems to be expanding.

I prefer to find the people that I feel need assistance in some other way. Something far greater than I am is guiding me.

I was meant to come here to do this. Not to save souls but something far greater.

Now I know. 
God is within me and so is my dad.