My best friend of life, Emily, recently took a trip to Guatemala. She came back raving, but a huge part was because of her Guatemalan guide, Julio. She put us in touch with him and for the past 2 months Mike and I have been emailing back and forth. Julio then extended a welcome to his house and to see his town just outside of Antigua. We jumped at the chance to get off the tourist path a little and see outside hostel walls. After what can only be described as a sardine tight ride on a local Chicken Bus, we arrived at Julio's home. It was a beautiful oasis in the middle of a city called Chimaltenango.
Chicken buses in Antigua ready to pack in locals and one or two backpackers
We had an absolutely magical night with Julio, his family and pretty much anyone who happened to walk by and wanted to join in on our festivities. We cooked a massive dinner, Mike and I made 10lbs of guacamole, spoke in spanish for 80% of our conversations and ended the night in the proper fashion of dancing on his kitchen table.
Our host for the evening with the infectious laugh
Julio's niece, Valentina, became my new favorite and was a very patient Spanish tutor on our walk
We love meeting people like Julio while traveling. He had an infectious spirit and gave us a night off the backpacker road and allowed us to be part of the family. Besos, Julio!