Situated in the Western Highlands where we previously visited Antigua & Lake Atitlan, the Highlands are the Heartland of the traditional Guatemalan Maya people; so we decided to do another fun excursion with fellow cruisers.Vern & Michelle (S/V Enchantment) organized the trip to Sumpango through "TTA shuttle service". For the return trip from Guate City at a cost of 19.62US per person we would be able to spend the day at the festival.
The van dropped the twelve of us off on the highway where we could easily hike up a path between rows of corn to Sumpango. We passed an assortment of vendors, their grills roasting yellow, blue and black corn;
These kites (Barriletes) are made by different groups/ organizations. A festival committee decides on a theme.
Once the design is completed layers of tissue are added to the back for additional strength. Bamboo is used for the kite frame.
We then decided to explore the town of Sumpango first arriving at the cemetery. We saw a number of locals flying their kites high above the cemetery as a symbolic link between the livng and the dead.
The Mayan people share a traditional meal called Fiambre picnic style with their loved ones. Fiambre is a mixture of cheese, meat and vegetables cured with vinegar.
Every minute it was getting more and more difficult to make our way through the streets so we decided it was time to head back to the kite field. Unfortunately the large kites would not be flown until sunset. By four o'clock we all felt it was time to head back to Guate City. It was getting too busy. And, it was a good thing we left when we did. Our half hour ride to Sumpango took us two hours to get back. We ended up detouring through Antigua because the traffic was at a standstill.