We’ve been living in Panajachel for about four weeks now, and we’ve put together a family rhythm that is working quite nicely. So nicely in fact, that we’ve decided to maximize our time here in Pana. Instead of driving all the way down to Costa Rica, we’re going to stay put a bit longer and then only travel as far as Belize, Honduras, and El Salvador before our return to Texas at the end of April.
While the kids are away from full-time school and regular music lessons, we’re trying our best to create some structure in our homeschooling to provide engaging and consistent learning opportunities. We split our time between school days and adventure days and service days . . . and we’ve had some marvelous days.
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On Monday last week, we did some volunteer work with Cultiva International, which is a nonprofit organization started by the Jensen family here in Panajachel. We have become good friends already with the Jensens, and we're amazed by their generosity and goodwill, which they have shared with the local community for the past 7 years. We spent the entire day involved in garden box construction, travelling behind their van "Uncle Rico" full of supplies for building garden boxes at the homes of local mayan neighbors. It was an awesome and inspiring day.
Why living in Panajachel is, for me, a lot like paradise. - Written by Tera
I love beauty!!! It makes my soul happy. Here in Panajachel, we are in a beautiful house, near a beautiful lake surrounded by beautiful volcanoes, where the weather is beautiful every day, surrounded by local people who are living a beautiful ethnic culture. Paradise!
(Click below right to read more . . . )
We’ve now been living in Panajachel for a week, and things are full of lots of highlights, and very few lowlights. I’ve asked all the members of the family to share some of their favorite things, in their own words, and so what follows here are the highlights for each person.
(Click below right to read more . . . )
Our last day in Mexico was spent driving from Tuxtla Guttierrez to the Mexican/Guatemala “Frontera” or border. We had long since left behind the nice 4-lane highways of northern and central Mexico, and we were now cutting through the mountains on regional 2-lane highways. They were still nicely paved, but very narrow, and very windy up and down through the beautiful mountain scenery. We crossed the border at La Mesilla, Guatemala, and drove through to Huehuetanango to spend the evening. The following day, we awoke and made our final push, driving about 5 hours to finally arrive at our home away from home in Panajachel. (. . . . . . . .for more, click below right)
The drive from Mexico City to Oaxaca was a little longer due to losing and finding Tera’s iPhone. We stopped overnight in Oaxaca, and had a great evening walking around the main square, eating street food, treating ourselves to Domino’s pizza. The Oaxaca temple was closed, but we were able to take some pictures. The next day, the drive to Tuxtla Guttierez was a long, long day. It was 8 hours of solid driving, with stops and rests adding up to 9 hours + in the car. Once we got to Tuxtla however, we stayed an extra day to visit the stunningly beautiful Sumidero Canyon, which was definitely worth the extra night stay. Plus, we went to the Tuxtla Guttierez temple, and met some really wonderful people. . . . . (to read more click more to the right)
Plan? What plan?
Our first Gap Year was a fabulous "2017-2018 School Year" of travel: from the Netherlands to Jordan to Texas to Hawaii to Mexico to Central America to London and back to the Netherlands. Our "2018 Summer Vacation" took us all around Western Europe, back to the USA on a transatlantic cruise, a road trip through New York and into Canada, and ending up in Utah. We have now kicked off the "2018-2019 School year" with a trip to Asia. Follow along with us on our visits to new places, as well as revisiting some of our favorite places from our time living there. It's going to be great!!