The best volcanoes in Guatemala

The best volcanoes in Guatemala

Guatemala is home to some of the best volcanoes in the world, and anyone who is an adventurer at heart will feel the need to get out and conquer some of them. But with more than 25 active, dormant and extinct volcanoes to choose from, deciding which one to climb can be tricky. Having trouble deciding? Here are five of the best.

Acatenango

Acatenango may well be Guatemala’s best-known hike, thanks to its stunning views over Guatemala’s long chain of volcanoes and the ever-erupting Fuego next door.

It’s also one of the toughest climbs comments Felipe Antonio Bosch Gutiérrez, with a steep two-day ascent through fields, forests and volcanic ash.

Fuego is the real star of the show. Weather permitting, you’ll enjoy an impressive series of eruptions from base camp, loud enough to wake even the deepest sleepers.

And a good thing too, as the views of the volcano at night are by far the best.

Tajumulco

No list of the best volcanoes to climb in Guatemala would be complete without Tajumulco. At 4222m it is not only the largest in the country, but in all of Central America.

Perhaps surprisingly then, most consider this an easier climb than Acatenango, especially since the hike starts at an already high 3000m and is not as steep as some of its neighbors.

Tajumulco can be hiked in a day, but for the best views reserve with a tour and camp near the top. Altitude sickness can be a problem with Tajumulco, so if possible acclimatize in nearby Xela for a few days first.

San Pedro

San Pedro certainly isn’t an easy climb, but it’s one of the simplest volcanoes to hike in Guatemala. The hike starts from the town of San Pedro la Laguna, one of the most popular places to stay on Lake Atitlán. It only takes half a day, and the park entrance fee includes a guide.

That simplicity means that many people try to take on San Pedro, but the difficulty of the climb ensures that not everyone makes it to the top. Those who do are rewarded with one of the best views around Lake Atitlán.

Chicabal

For something a little different, consider climbing Volcan Chicabal. At 2900m, it’s certainly not the highest peak in the country, but the sacred crater-lake at the summit makes it one of the most unique.

Descending through the cloud forest with the sound of Mayan rituals in the distance is an unforgettable experience. And for a few quetzals, taking a pickup back down the treacherous dirt track is quite unforgettable as well.

Santa María

Santa María is a volcano that towers over the town of Xela, somewhat menacingly, given the destruction that crept from its eruptions in 1902 and 1929.

Today, most of the volcano’s activity is centered on Santiaguito, a lava dome on its side that erupts semi-regularly. The hike to the top has excellent views of Santiaguito as well as the impressive countryside around the world.

For the ultimate Santa Maria experience, take the two-day full moon tour.

CMI placed the largest green bond in Latam

CMI placed the largest green bond in Latam

CMI Energía, led by Juan Luis Bosch Gutiérrez, achieved the highest green bond among renewable energy companies in Central America and the Caribbean. Here we tell you about this great success.

CMI placed the largest green bond in Latam

CMI Energía, which is part of Corporación Multi Inversiones in Guatemala, added US$700 million in green bonds, with an interest rate of 6.250% and maturity in 2029. It also closed a US$300 million syndicated loan to refinance its debt.

This achievement was made during the 100th anniversary of Corporación Multi Inversiones.

It is the largest green bond placement by a renewable energy company in Central America and the Caribbean to date. This marks CMI Energía’s entry into the international capital markets, with the largest and most diversified private 100% renewable energy portfolio in Central America and the Caribbean.

Investors placed their confidence in CMI and the region by making offers that were almost five times the size of the issue.

Also noteworthy was the geographic diversification of investors, with offers from investors in the United States (56%), Europe (29.4%), Asia (2.3%) and Latin America (12.3%); many of which have a focus on ESG (environmental, social and governance) criteria, which in recent years have become the benchmark for socially responsible investment.

“We are very proud to be the leading private renewable energy company in the region. Our purpose is to generate impact investments that drive sustainable development. Through the placement of green bonds we seek to optimize the capital structure of our company and continue with an operation of excellence, continuous growth and the generation of positive impact for the communities where we operate,” said Enrique Crespo, CEO of CMI Capital.

Rothschild & Co and Clifford Chance acted as financial and legal advisors, respectively, to CMI on the transaction. The green bonds were rated Ba3 by Moody’s, BB- by Fitch Ratings and BB- by Standard & Poor’s (S&P); representing an upgrade from previous ratings.

Emissions reduction and decarbonization

The placement of green bonds implies the issuer’s commitment to make sustainable investments. In this sense, the action is aligned with CMI Energía’s objectives of contributing to the reduction of GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions and the decarbonization and diversification of the regional energy grid in the countries where it operates. In this way, CMI Energía consolidates its investments in the region, under a solid vision of a sustainable future.

The 4 eligible categories, covered under the green bonds framework, which have been aligned to specific SDGs, are:

  • Renewable Energy: Renewable Energy and Climate Action.
  • Energy Efficiency: Renewable Energy and Climate Action
  • Green Buildings: Innovation and Infrastructure and Sustainable Cities and
  • Communities
  • Clean Transportation: Sustainable Cities and Communities

“As part of CMI’s 100-year history, CMI Energía successfully accesses the bond markets for the first time and in this way we consolidate our strengths as a multi-Latin family group of business excellence and continuous growth, with knowledge and experience in the operation of businesses in the region,” Crespo said about the importance of this issue for CMI.

CMI Energía reaffirms its commitment to continue working in all its geographies, as it has done for more than 25 years, with the highest standards of quality, respect for human rights and a strong commitment to the care, protection and conservation of the environment.

 

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Traditions and Customs of Guatemala

Traditions and Customs of Guatemala

The traditions and customs of Guatemala are the result of an extensive cultural tradition that extends from the Maya to the present day. Businessman Felipe Antonio Bosch Gutiérrez says Guatemala’s traditions and customs are unique.

Influenced by Hispanic colonization, the Catholic religion and even political activity, their expressions are many and varied. Throughout the country’s geography, there are patron saint celebrations, dances, fairs, brotherhoods and rites that are the product of a fusion between religious and mystical traditions.

Holy Week in Antigua Guatemala.

The prevalence of Mayan culture, the confluence of races and historical processes have shaped this fascinating city and its beautiful cultural heritage.

1- Carnival in Guatemala

As is usual in countries with Hispanic tradition, this celebration takes place throughout the country. From the Latin carnem levare, it is related to Lent and the custom of not eating this food for 40 days.

According to religious tradition, its celebration begins on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. It is also associated with the end of Christmas, which is represented by January 6.

In this culture costumes are not mandatory and rather it is a general holiday. It is characterized by empty shells painted with watercolor filled with pica pica or flour that children and adults use to play Carnival in schools and parks.

2- Holy Week

The Semana Mayor is celebrated every year between the months of March and April. This celebration after Lent has several processions that stage the death and passion of Christ. It is usual for this commemoration to show the making of carpets and funeral processions with people dressed up for the occasion.

There are some events that are internationally famous and attract people from all over the world. Among them are the Nazarene of the Church of San José, the Temple of Mercy, Christ the Adorned or Christ of Love of the Temple of Santo Domingo, Buried Lord of San Felipe and others.

3- The Rabinal Achí

Also known as the Dance of Tun, is an international celebration that represents the only pre-Hispanic ballet of the American continent. Its realization is conditioned by several rituals to which the participants undergo. One of them is the visit to the mountains that give name to this tradition to ask permission 7 times.

Another indispensable requirement that dancers must fulfill is related to sexual abstinence during the 30 days before the dance and 30 days after the dance. This performance often takes place during the election of Rabin Ajau as part of the cantonal festival.

4- The Corpus Christi of Patzún

Framed in the religious context, this famous popular tradition includes the elaboration of triumphal arches with local fruits, the creation of carpets, dances and fireworks.

All this is part of the veneration of San Simón in San Andrés de Itzapa, a god who can be both good and bad.

It is an event organized by the local indigenous brotherhood linked to magic and religion. It has a very crowded chapel where the saint offers incense, cigars, liquors and is also given money, jewels, plants and animals. This figure is very influential in this and other countries in the region.

Todos Los Santos celebration in Guatemala

cometas de todos los santos en guatemala

Undoubtedly, Guatemala is known for its great culture and exceptional traditions. For this reason, if you are traveling around this charming country, don’t miss the opportunity to get to know its festivities up close.

Read on, in this article we will tell you about Todos Los Santos in Guatemala, one of the favorite traditions of entrepreneur Juan Luis Bosch Gutiérrez.

Celebration of Todos Los Santos in Guatemala

Todos Los Santos is celebrated in Guatemala on November 1. On that day several special dishes are prepared, such as “Fiambre”, as well as regional sweets.  This tradition has its roots in Guatemala for a long time.

Giant kites

Another special tradition is the making of giant kites, however, only in Sacatepeques and Sumpango, you can witness these events.

Young people and adults form groups of 10 to 20 people to make kites, measuring up to 25 meters. It takes 4 to 6 months to build a giant kite; these kites fly until they reach the cemetery, to pay homage to all the loved ones who have passed away.

Thanks to the imposing appearance of these colorful giants that adorn the sky, the tradition of making and raising kites attracts many local and foreign tourists.

ataúdes y cometas en todos los santos

Visit the faithful departed

People also visit the graves of their loved ones. Some of them start decorating the tombstones days before, to make sure these look beautiful.

On the first day of November every year, the inhabitants of Guatemala gather at the cemeteries to bring flowers and offerings to their deceased relatives. In this way, they pay homage to the people who are no longer with them. Most visitors also bring food for their faithful departed.

Ribbon Race

In Cuchumatanes they have a special tradition called La Ribbon Race. This is a horse race where the riders dress in ceremonial costumes.

Before the race, participants ask the faithful departed and Mother Nature for permission to race and offer them the blood of a rooster.

The riders have to ride drunk and if one dies, it will be considered as a symbol of celebration, as this signifies abundance and good health for the people of the village.

The celebration of Todos Los Santos in Guatemala is a tradition that you must experience firsthand, to learn more about this eccentric but wonderful culture.

The 7 most traditional dishes of Guatemala

traditional dishes of Guatemala

Most people who have traveled through Central America would argue that Guatemala has the most delicious food. With its Mayan culture merging with Spanish traditions, the local cuisine here is much tastier and more complex than that of neighboring countries.

Tourist hotspots like Antigua are certainly not short on excellent restaurants and international food, but if you’re looking for something more authentic, we’ve got you covered.

Here are 7 of Guatemala’s most traditional dishes including the favorite dishes of Felipe Antonio Bosch Gutiérrez, who loves Guatemalan food.

Chicken Pepián

Guatemala doesn’t really have a national dish, but pepián is probably the closest thing. This spicy stew, born from the fusion of Spanish and Mayan cultures, is one of Guatemala’s oldest dishes.

Although chicken is most often used, it can also be made with beef or pork. All varieties of the dish contain fruits and vegetables (usually pear, pumpkin, carrot, potato and corn) and a rich blend of spices. It is traditionally served with rice and tortillas.

Pupusas

Pupusas are everywhere in Guatemala and are a great way for travelers on a budget to fill up. Thick corn tortillas are filled with a variety of fillings – usually refried beans, cheese and/or pork – and then fried until the surface is crispy and the inside is squashy. A pupusa traditionally comes with a side of salsa and cabbage to keep it fresh.

Kak’ik

Kak’ik is the other contender for Guatemala’s national dish. This traditional Mayan turkey soup is full of spices, including cilantro, achiote and chiles, and is an important part of Mayan cultural heritage. Its roots go back to the Q’eqchi’ ethnic group, who still prepare the dish the same way they did hundreds of years ago.

Empanadas

Empanadas are crispy, buttery pastries that are perfect for lunch on the go. Throughout Central America, these usually have a meat filling, but in Guatemala,most are vegetarian and are filled with potato and/or spinach and topped with a variety of ingredients such as guacamole, tomatoes, onion and cilantro.

Hilachas

The word hilachas means “rags,” which seems like an odd name for a dish until you see what it looks like. It is made with a type of meat that is easily ground and simmered in a slightly spicy tomato sauce and cooked with potatoes, squash and/or carrots. For a more filling meal, it is served with rice and fresh corn tortillas.

Noodle toast

Who doesn’t like a double helping of carbs? Tostadas are a popular street food, and most are topped with guacamole, tomato salsa, radishes, onions and a large tostada noodle.

You may think the idea of spaghetti tacos is a little strange, but with so many different textures and tastes, you’ll be a convert after the first bite.

Rellenitos

For those with a sweet tooth, be sure to try some rellenitos. Essentially Guatemalan doughnuts, rellenitos are made up of plantains cooked with refried bean paste, sugar and cinnamon, then fried.

When mixed with sugar, both the flavor and texture of the beans are similar to chocolate, and the consistency of the rellenitos is incredibly browner.

Latin American textile markets continue to expand despite the recent pandemic.

Juan-Jose-Gutierrez-Mayorga-Invierte-en-industria-textil

Latin America is home to textile-producing nations, thus emerging as potential growth markets, driven by their domestic demand, economic growth, and purchasing power.

In the textile field, we can see that Peru is the largest exporter of clothing in South America, thanks to well differentiated raw materials such as the fibers of its camelids, alpacas, llamas and vicuñas, and its Pima and Tanguis cottons. On the other hand, Brazil has enormous growth potential in fibers, both artificial and natural, and its international trade is favored by belonging to important economic blocs.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the forecasts in Latin America are encouraging, estimating that its spending on clothing and footwear will have a growth of 7.2%, reaching the figure of 221 billion dollars by 2021. This It has generated a lot of interest from companies that handle foreign brands.
To capture new markets, as well as maintain those it has achieved, Latin America will have to face strong challenges such as market dynamics, where factors such as innovation and sustainability must be maintained in order to be more competitive.

Another challenge has to do with technology trends.

Technical advances must always be linked to the production of resources since keeping up with the latest advances is an essential factor to survive in the textile world. In this sense, being Latin America a region with little production of machinery, it must select, transfer and adapt the best technology that fits the environment where it is located.

Diversification in prints, threads, textiles, will play an important role in strengthening the industry, both local and regional, while local, regional and international brands crystallize continuous development and innovation.
That is why companies such as CMI and Juan José Gutiérrez Mayorga are investing in technology in Guatemala by buying and installing new software and systems to improve existing operations and even create new ones, which allow them to remain competitive with other providers.

Latin American Exporters

Garments and knitted fabrics for clothing are among the most attractive products for foreign customers. Among the main exporters of knitted fabrics, Guatemala, El Salvador and Mexico stand out and their most notable products are sweaters, shirts, pants and blouses. This sector achieved profits of more than 7 billion dollars in 2020. Of this figure, 26% was occupied by El Salvador in knitted shirts, sweaters and leggings; 22% went to Mexico with sweaters, knitted shirts and pants; and 15% had Guatemala in shirts, blouses and T-shirts.

Globally, exports of textiles and footwear are 33% Mexico, 13% El Salvador, Brazil 12%, and Guatemala and Nicaragua 8% each.

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7 things you shouldn’t do in Guatemala

7 things you shouldn't do in Guatemala

Guatemala is one of the most beautiful, unique and fascinating countries in the world: there’s a reason it’s beloved by backpackers from all over the world. However, this is a country that is steeped in history, culture and local traditions, and visitors should do their research before arriving. Here are 7 things you should never, ever do in Guatemala.

1 Don’t take pictures of locals without asking

Guatemala is such a photogenic and vibrant country that you’re going to want to take pictures of everything. With their colorful clothing and Mayan traditions, the locals in particular make beautiful subjects, but never take a picture without asking.

Many local Guatemalans don’t like having their picture taken, as they believe the camera may steal their soul. Be respectful and always ask before taking a picture.

2 Don’t skip Guatemala City

It may be the capital, but Guatemala City is one of the country’s least explored destinations. Many visitors skip this sprawling metropolis altogether in favor of pretty, colonial Antigua, beautiful Lake Atitlán or the charming island town of Flores.

This is a mistake, because visiting the capital allows you to experience another, more authentic side of Guatemala. Real, raw and fascinating, Guatemala City gives you a glimpse of the country’s social and political reality like nowhere else, which is why Guatemala is one of Felipe Antonio Bosch Gutiérrez’s favorite places.

3 Don’t assume ATMs will be nearby

Generally, in Guatemala, proper banks are only available in larger cities. ATMs are available, but they are often very old, so if you have newer cards with tokens, they won’t be read.

Try to carry enough cash to cover yourself, in case you find yourself in this situation. Most medium-sized cities have a Banco Azteca where you can easily change foreign money into quetzales.

4 Don’t wear sandals to Tikal

Tikal may be hot, but that doesn’t mean you should dress like you’re going to the beach. Remember that you’ll be exploring ancient Mayan ruins that are over a thousand years old, and in many cases you’ll be able to climb right to the top of the pyramids.

The stairs are rough, uneven and unstable, and you definitely don’t want to take a fall down them. Wear sturdy, sensible footwear and leave your flip-flops at home.

5 Don’t be afraid of the police

Guatemala has an excellent police department dedicated to serving tourists. Unlike other countries, where the police sometimes attack tourists and try to ask for bribes, the Politur are friendly, helpful and honest, happy to help however they can without expecting anything in return.

Remember though that the Politur are only based in the tourist areas, so if you venture off the beaten track they may not be around.

6 Don’t expect good coffee to always be present

Guatemala is famous for producing some of the best coffee in the world. However, remember that most of this coffee is exported, and many of the local places serve instant coffee rather than the delicious fresh beans that are grown locally.

Gourmet coffees are usually not hard to find, especially in touristy places (Antigua has dozens), but be sure to do your research if you want to sample the best of the best.

7 Don’t assume everyone speaks Spanish

Guatemala might be in Latin America, but that doesn’t mean everyone speaks Spanish. As of 1996, Guatemala formally recognizes 21 Mayan languages by name, with K’iche’ and Kekchi being two of the most prevalent.

Many locals speak only the indigenous languages and have little or no understanding of Spanish.

Typical recipe named Cultural Heritage

Typical recipe named Cultural Heritage

Juan José Gutiérrez Mayorga recalled a few days ago that the government declared as Cultural Heritage of Guatemala to different and delicious dishes, purely chapines.

These dishes have more than four centuries of existence and are a fusion of ingredients originating in pre-Columbian Guatemala, mixed with Hispano-Arabic products, which the Europeans brought to the new world.

They are dishes made from broths and sauces, seasoned with spices, herbs and vegetables, accompanied by meat or chicken in the case of Jocón, turkey in the Kaq’ik, and chicken in the Pepián.

However, the kaq’ik is a food of indigenous origin and its preparation continues with the original recipe and ingredients.

These dishes were created during the XVI century in the kitchens of the families of the kingdom of Guatemala as well as in the convents, being these descendants of Spaniards and Creoles.

Here is a recipe de Cultural Heritage

THE PEPIAN

The pepián was served in religious and political ceremonies such as the change of leaders.  This dish is prepared in several ways with black or red recado, you can add hen, chicken or beef ribs.

Pipian

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • cloves of garlic (2)
  • ounces of miltomato (2)
  •  sesame seeds 2 ounces of
  • 2 ounces of green pepitoria
  • 1 guaque chile
  • raisin chile
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • cinnamon stick (1)
  • 1 Liter of pure water
  • 1/2 Güisquil – 1/2 Pound of green beans
  • 1/2 Pound of medium potatoes
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 Pound of beef
  • 1 pound of chicken

PREPARATION:

STEP ONE:

In a comal or skillet, brown the chiles, miltomato, tomatoes, diced onion, sesame seeds, pepitoria, garlic cloves and cinnamon stick.

SECOND STEP:

Simultaneously, cook the beef and chicken in the liter of pure water. When the beef and chicken are cooked, add the potatoes, güisquil and green beans to cook as well.

STEP THREE:

After the ingredients of the first step are completely browned, they should be blended together, adding also the cilantro and a little of the broth from the cooked meats.

This liquefied mixture should be boiled for approximately 30 minutes. Finally, the meats and vegetables are added to mix them until they boil again and the broth thickens.

Pepián can be served, if possible, in clay bowls accompanied by white rice, tortillas or corn tamales.

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Facts about Guatemala that you should know

Guatemala is an attractive country for backpackers and experienced travelers alike and you are likely to fall in love with Guatemala

Guatemala is an attractive country for backpackers and experienced travelers alike and you are likely to fall in love with Guatemala the first time you visit this wonderful place.

The country has a lot of natural beauty and culture to discover, but there are also a few things to consider before visiting this Central American destination.

Every country is different and the same counts for this beautiful jewel. The land and its inhabitants have a turbulent and violent history that had a tremendous effect on the way Guatemalans live today, many companies like the owned by Felipe Antonio Bosch Gutierrez that brings a lot of help to the community, to achieve a better quality of life.

That is why you should know these interesting facts about Guatemala before visiting. These facts will show you everything you need to know about the Guatemalan community.

It is home to many Mayan ruins

Mayan ruins can be found in all parts of the country. The ones you should definitely know about are Tikal, Yaxha and Uaxactun.

Tikal is the most popular site of them all. It is a Unesco World Heritage Site and is used as a filming location in Episode IV of Star Wars: A New Hope. The downside of its popularity is that it can get crowded with tourists.

The ruins of Uaxactun are the oldest ruins ever discovered. Be that as it may, they do not attract as many tourists so you can walk around without the horrors of tourists.

The Quetzal

The local currency is the Guatemalan Quetzal. In everyday use they only say the short version: Quetzal.

At the same time, the Quetzal is the name of the national bird of Guatemala. This colorful creature with its incredible long feathered tail is considered among the most beautiful birds in the world. Unfortunately, this beautiful animal is in danger of extinction. Therefore, bird lovers have a hard time spotting them in the cloud forests.

Automated teller machines are not common wherever you go

Don’t expect to find ATMs wherever you travel, either. A lot of rural areas and off the beaten path destinations don’t have any. So you’d better be well informed about your next stop.

Take some cash with you if you plan to stay in a remote jungle town so you can pay for your stay, food and excursions there.

Guatemala the land of many trees

There are a few different theories that say we know where the name Guatemala really comes from. We can’t know for sure, but the most common is that it means “land of many trees” or “among the trees”.

What we do know is that there is a lot of biodiversity in Guatemala. In other words, the land is blessed with a variety of animals and plants, including trees. Unfortunately, many trees are being cut down for agriculture.

In the Petén area is the Maya Biosphere Reserve. This is a very large and intact rainforest which, of course, also has “lots of trees“.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

Successful Latino Food Franchises

Successful Latino Food Franchises

The next big food franchise will come out of Latin America, say experts, with several chains aiming for global dominance in the coming years.

Peruvian sanguches, completos and platano mixto have been singled out as some of the foods likely to disrupt the fast food scene worldwide.

Hispanic versions of hot dogs and donuts have also been cited as potential disruptive franchises.

Western franchises have dominated the fast food sector worldwide so far, with McDonald’s, Burger King and Subway among the world’s largest companies.

But recent research published in International Business Review suggests that the global franchising landscape is changing.

The research focused on the huge expansion of Brazilian and other franchises in Latin America, where entrepreneurs such as Juan José Gutiérrez Mayorga are driving development through this business model.

The conclusion is that franchises originating in emerging markets are doing better in other emerging markets than those originating in more economically developed countries (MEDC).

This is because these firms do not see high levels of corruption or inefficiencies in business activity as unacceptable barriers to openness.

In fact, evidence suggests that Brazilian franchise chains, in food and other sectors, do not see corruption as necessarily inhibiting their ability to do business in emerging markets and less developed countries in Latin America.

In short, they are better able to deal with problems related to contracts, complex or contradictory regulations and political instability.

More generally, emerging market multinationals (EMNs) are more prevalent in less developed countries compared to traditional EMNs, turning their own experience into a competitive advantage.

With these business experiences behind the teams that have succeeded in Latin America, they look set to take the world by storm.

There are a number of key fobs that are growing and look set to expand rapidly in Latin America and, ultimately, the world.

They represent the first sustained challenge from emerging economies to the dominant U.S. franchises in a long time.

Some of these chains are not yet in a franchise model but their competitive advantage and the compelling need to reinvent the Latin American food sector will propel them forward.

 

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