Todos Santos dificultos: visiting Todos Santos (Nortthwest Guatemala) | The Family Without Borders

The Family Without Borders

The Travelling family



Todos Santos dificultos

Guatemala: Meeting in a village on the way to Todos Santos; Photo: Thomas Alboth

Guatemala: Meeting in a village on the way to Todos Santos; Photo: Thomas Alboth

Above the clouds, between the highest volcano and the highest mountain of Guatemala, we found a town, where men wear cool red pants and women clothing in the colours that H&M would have been jealous!

Already the way up welcomed us with an absolutely dramatic scenery. First time on this trip we stopped the car again and again to express a big: wow. After a curvy, steep way up you can see the chain of volcanoes in the middle of Guatemala. Then, after crossing the clouds, you end up on the plateau, where you feel Mam Maya charm around. Woman like to carry all the things on their heads (including jars with water) and kids like when Hanna is sharing chips with them.

But the region has also not the most inviting fame: in the Cuchumatanes mountains even not so long ago tourists were murdered. Just because of being, taking pictures, not respecting enough. Maya people, those who live in tiny villages, have no idea why tourist should be interested in them, why travelling, why visiting, why taking pictures?

Todos Santos Cuchumatán is situated on 2500 metres. The town is one of only few places, where indigenous men (not only women) still wear their traditional clothes. So small streets shine with red-white stripped trousers, white shirts with colourful collar, very heavy hat and weaved bag (you can buy all of it in every size: from a small boy until the old man). And women colours are amazing: intensive, diverse and very different than in other villages.

The town, unfortunately, changes at night. When only it started to get darker (which is very early) – all the charm somehow evaporated, women and kids disappeared, small streets became scary with distrusful look of men. We found some “hotel” and were happy to have a calm space to digest all the impressions. Calmness didn’t last long. Very soon we met our room neighbours: three guys with guns which were bigger size than our Mila. Guys were very nervous, walking in and out of the room, discussing, calling. Something was going on. Should we change the room? Get further from them? Can anything happen? Do they want anything from us? Does anybody else want anything from them and can come at night and oh oh oh make a mistake and visit our room instead of theirs? Nothing better than talking. We decided to ask the guy very directly: if they are dangerous for us? The guy answered that not for us, buenas noches. Ok, so buenas noches…

Not easy to deal with memories and emotions from the trip to Todos Santos. Not easy to be a happy family in front of crowds of sad and hungry kids.

And still on that morning I decided to put my “good girl clothes”: long skirt and shirt with long sleeves. And only in the evening, while watching the pictures I realised what an idiot am I and that nothing distinguished we more from the people than a freshly washed white shirt, smile on my face and a happy daughter.

Our first book is out!

We have published our first book (for now just in Polish:) about our Central America Trip.
See, read and order here »


  • Leonie Arnhold
    Posted January 13, 2012 at 22:24 | Permalink

    Hey, I just read about your adventures and saw your beautiful pictures! It´s good to see, how much you´re seeing and learning over there, and, of course, to read that you are all well. Good luck for the next stations and warm greetings from Berlin! Leonie

  • Rafał
    Posted August 1, 2012 at 21:24 | Permalink

    Pozdrowienia z Polski. Gratuluję pomysłu na życie!

  • Posted April 10, 2013 at 04:03 | Permalink

    결혼한다면!!안에~사정해서~임신했다는 말밖에~더있냐!!!!!


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