GUATEMALA - My first trip to Guatemala was in 1975 when I was a board member of a medical clinic in Chimaltenango. Your first task in going there will be to learn something of the history of the country and how to pronounce the various city names. You will see dramatic contrasts in the historic and the new - the cities and the country. The major earthquake of 1976 took 23,000 lives. Most of those were in the small, old towns where there was literally no earthquake planning or construction.
Visit the ancient city of Antigua with its well-preserved Spanish architecture. Tikal is one of the largest archaeological sites and urban centers of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization, and Lake Atitlan is the deepest (and many say the most beautiful!) lake in Central America. In small villages modern civilization has not yet appeared, but the people are dressed in some of the brightest colored garments I have seen anywhere.
Guatemala City seems centuries as well as miles apart from the country. It is a the major administrative and distribution center for numerous corporations. My work there has been in enhancing the english-speaking presentation skills of the executives of several of these companies.
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