Friday, June 18, 2010

La Azotea, is a museum not a roof!!!

La Azotea is this museum that has 3 museums on one site. We had a tour of the Coffee Museum and one of the Music/Indigenous way of life museum.

Our group was split into two groups and then we went on the two tours. We first started with the coffee museum.
Coffee is a big part of Guatemala and they are actually No. 3 in the world in the best quality of Coffee. Our tour guide was this very young guy, oh yeah it was very cool that our teachers came along.

So our tour started with an explanation of what coffee was and how Guatemala was involved with Coffee. The tour guide explained where coffee came from and how it was orignally founded when a farmer found that his goats were eating this plant that made them crazy because it wouldn't let them sleep. I also secretly think this is how the theory of vampires evolved people had caffeine and so they could not sleep and were then called people of the night and it just evolved, just a theory.

We then moved to the second stage which explained in more detail Guatemala's involvement and also how they are number 7 in the world for production of Coffee but yet they are ranked NO.3 in the world in quality of coffee. And Believe me coffee here tastes soo much better than the packaged things we get in the states. I think its because here it is very fresh even in restaurants and cafes!!

The next stage of our tour was the tour guide explaining and showing us the different stages that coffee goes through. He first started by showing us the life of coffee beans which starts in 5 different stages of the plants.


I really like the different models they had of people working on coffee farms/plantation that explained all of the different steps. There was also this cool map of Guatemala that pinpointed all of the different locations were coffee is grown.

So the museum I think is owned by this family that came to Guatemala a long time ago, and they also have a coffee farm right on the property. The picture above shows the owners of the farm fro beginning to end.

What they do there is that they grow coffee and then roast it and make it so it is delicious and you can buy it. They export to a couple of different places as well. I really like the photograph above, I don't know what the machine is but that guy was really friendly and the machine was really clean. I think that it has to do something with preparing the coffee because we were in a place were we were allowed to sample some coffee and even chocolate. The chocolate was really good, Danny did not like the coffee and I didn't try it because too much caffeine gives me hives.

After having some free samples we went on a tour of where they grow the coffee and other things, my teacher and I laged behind to take a picture. She picked up that stick in her hand and playfully threatened me with it saying if I didn't pay attention she was going to discipline me like in the old days and then I said NO and we started playing around. It was such a fun experience because rarely do you get to fool around with you professors like that.

During the tour we came across a well and I fell in, well actually I jumped in and freaked some people out because they thought it was deep and full of water but it wasn't. I could actually stand up and it was only up to my stomach but the Abuelito (Anthony's Teacher) and I pretended I had fallen in and he was rescuing me by pulling me out everyone thought it was a hoot.

After the tour we all headed to the gift shop were we got sample coffee again. Anthony peer pressured Danny into trying it, he was skeptical about it but he tried it anyway, I don't think he likes it but I don't really know.

After some time we headed over to the next part of the tour which was the Music tour. Out tour guide was this really nice woman who was enthusiastic. I liked her tour best out of the two. She started the tour by talking to us about the different things that Mayan people used as instruments, such as ocean shells, you know like the ones you put your ear against and you can hear the ocean waves.
Turtle Shells & Animal Horns

Animal Skeleton

Animal Skin

She also talked to us about how turtle shells could be used as drums it was quite interesting. In order to make a drum you used the shell of a turtle and the horn of an animal as it is pictured above. In addition like the pictures about animals skeletons and their skin was also used for the making of musical instruments. The instruments were then used in a time of war or for entertainment and such.
One of the last instruments she talked about was the Marimba which I believe is Guatemala's official music instrument. In Antigua during the weekends there are many people who go to the park or by the arch and they play the marimba.

Our tour guide also talked about the how there was traditional dances that required especial outfits like the ones pictured above. She said Guatemala was full of tradition and that these dances were important to a lot of Guatemalans if not all. This also opened the ay for her to start talking about the tradition of indigenous people and the ways in which they made money and the way they lived their life.

Painting of Maximon

Simulation of people worshiping Maximon

Maximon was also present in La Azotea because he has a big role in the culture. What I know about Maximon is that he is half saint half devil, but some say he is neither he is just a lawyer, he intercedes for them.

Woman Weaving (San Antonio)

Simulation of a traditional Mayan Wedding

Woman selling beans and such

After Maximon we also learned about the lifestyle of many indigenous people and their traditions, customs, beliefs, and way of life. Many of the people make money by selling things they grow in their farm and others do so by weaving and making little crafts.

All in all the experience at the Azotea was great. I learned a lot about the culture and about music and even coffee. I thought the place was beautiful and the people were extremely friendly. If you are ever in Antigua you need to visit this place!!!

OH PS Tomorrow we go to TIKAL!!!!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment