Subject: Re: Guatemala

Before making a comment or two on Guatemala, I'll preface my remarks by saying that I'm a relatively fearless & independent traveler, speak fluent Spanish & feel very comfortable in Latin America, even when traveling alone.

However, a few years ago when I crossed the border by bus from Belize to Guatemala on the way to Tikal, I was more than glad that my hulking brute of a son was with me. It was not a comfortable experience, for all my ease in other situations in Latin America. But the Peten is subject to political pressures that you probably won't feel near Antigua or Quetzal.

I depart today for Guatemala for a 2-week stint with Cascade Medical Team. That is, if I can wrestle the luggage into submission! The OR scrubs got left out of the OR team's checkthru bags &somehow I've got to fit them into mine. I'm going a day early to get the compound ready for the other 72 team members & I'm not uncomfortable about that. But when the team arrives, we only leave the compound together & never at night as there's been some mischief in our area, which is about 4 hours by bus from Guatemala City, in the hills above Lake Atitlan.

So, my advice is simply to go, enjoy this beautiful country & its gentle people, but don't be stupid. Good advice no matter where you go.

Gail In Eugene but never for long