Our final tourist trip in Guatemala was an overnight camping trip to climb the Acetenango volcano, which provided us spectacular views of the nearby active Volcan de Fuego. It exploded in a brilliant display continuously through the day and night, throwing up showers of glowing lava rock which cascaded down the sides of the volcano until the glowing rocks turned grey and black.
(Truth in advertising, the picture above is not taken by us, we stole it from the internet . . . but it is a much better representation of what we saw, then the pictures we took below without a time lapse advantage. . . . )
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Our Airbnb house in Panajachel had already been rented to others during Easter Week, or Semana Santa as it is known here. So, we needed to vacate our place for about 10 days. A perfect excuse for another road trip! We decided to take a trip with some friends to the LDS temple and a waterpark, then our family continued on to El Salvador for a fantastic beach vacation. It was a delightful and relaxing time, and we checked a new Central American country off of our list.
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We crossed the border into Belize to begin our 4-day visit to this tiny country. We knew very little of Belize before coming, and learned a great deal while we were here. We learned about the small population (360,000), the various ethnic groups (mixed Mayan/European, African, Latin American), the many languages (English, Spanish, Creole, Garifuna), and the many Mennonite communities in Belize that now act as the economic and agricultural engines of the country. We pre-booked a few tours in the country, a very expensive way to travel and see the sights, but a sure way to get to those spots which are most unique and memorable.
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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!!