Fellow filmmaker and friend Dave and I arrived in Guatemala City on the eve of November 6, election night.  At the airport, Alba, who was my daughter’s baby sitter between 1990-1993, picked us up and drove us to our destination, Antigua. A Spanish Colonial city and once the cultural capital of Central America
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Alba with my baby Eva in 1991.

Dave’s brother Bill, runs Dyslexia Libros in Antigua, a used multilingual bookstore that is connected to Café No Se, which is the home of Illegal Mezcal, a handcrafted small batch mezcal. Is there a pattern here, Dyslexic Books, Café I Don’t Know and Illegal Mezcal.
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Bill in Dyslexia Libros
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Dave, Bill and Don Julio

Our first full day in Antigua, enjoying the sun in Central Park and immediately after I learned to say pueda tomar un photo (can I take your photo), I felt the park bench move, I looked at the person next to me to see if he was causing the shake, “earthquake” he said. After about a minute of four to five horizontal shifts of the earth, the tremor stopped and the water from the fountain gushed forward with force, like a wave.
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Fountain in Central Park
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Raphael, “Earthquake” he said. “Pueda tomar un photo” I asked.
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Newspaper headline “Terremoto” (Earthquake).
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Me with Jose, who kept our shoes shiny.

 Breakfast, consisting of a large bowl of fruit, was at La Casaca. They had great cappuccino and a wonderful view of the square.

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Bill, me and Dave at the rooftop of La Casca.
On Sunday, the 11th, we headed to the capital and at 5:30 A.M. Monday we were picked up by Lorena Calvo, owner of Finca Bohemia, a coffee farm, about a three-hour drive.
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Lorena’s house at Finca Bohemia.
There we produced a short documentary about the farm. Lorena does not use any pesticides on her plants and she organizes and plants the farm in a way that is friendly to the animals. She plants indigenous trees that provide shade and also of different heights so the birds have a choice of elevation. We learned how the coffee is picked, washed, sorted and dried. Lorena was a very gracious host and we truly enjoyed meeting her and loved our time on the farm. Although we acted as most men and did not listen to her caution of applying insect repellent, stupid, yes, manly, yes. I wish the feminine side had kicked in this one time.
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The kids don’t actually do any of the picking, but they accompany their parents.
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Israel weighing the picked coffee beans.
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Drying washed coffee.
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Lorena explaining the coffee process to Dave.
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Lorena with coffee plant.
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Chapel at Finca Bohemia.
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Dave, Lorena and me, before heading back to Antigua.
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Volcan de Fuego, we stopped to see the once hot lava close up on our way back to Antigua.
By Wednesday afternoon we were back in Antigua and the missions that we had set for our selves had been accomplished. Find an ATM, a cigar store, the best cappuccino in Antigua, great rum, excellent park bench and filming Finca Bohemia. And little Jose kept our shoes shined and looking good through all of our exploration.
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Produce market.
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The band performing at the produce market.
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Mayan woman weaving.
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Lit up “Chicken Bus” at night.
With time on our hands, we decided to also produce a short film about Dyslexia Libros and the valuable service it provides to the world travelers that were so prevalent in Antigua.
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Some friends that we met while at Antigua.
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Angie, owner of Angie Angie.
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Andreas and Leo, who work at Angie Angie
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Laura, who owns Cactus Grill.
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Carmen, who works at Cactus Grill.
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Bruce, of Meson Panza Verde
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Amara and Dolce, who run Mi Casa, where we stayed.
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Val, having ravioli with Asiago cheese at Angie Angie.
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Frank, who has an organic farm. The passion fruit was as delicious as the view.
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Antigua street with volcano in background’
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We returned to Chicago on Tuesday, the 13th of November. This was a truly great trip. Our plans are to return as soon as possible to produce more film and photography.
Both of the short films, Finca Bohemia and Dyslexia Libros will be completed and posted on the web shortly.