The children in this snapshot are mostly Kakchikel-speaking boys in a town called Ciudad Vieja, goofing off last Tuesday during carnival celebrations (pre-Ash Wednesday, pre-lent, lots of candy and confetti all over the place). Ciudad Vieja ("old city") was the former capital of Guatemala during early Spanish colonial times. It was wiped out nearly 500 years ago by a massive flood caused by a volcano of water; after the destruction the capital was then moved a few miles away to what became the city of Antigua, which was then wiped out by an earthquake. The country's capital was ultimately re-established in what we know now as Guatemala City, which strikes me as being one of the most dangerous urban places on earth. There are nearly as many ammo shops as tortilla vendors and the crime rate is insane. The local guide who accompanied us for much of our travels through the altiplano joked, "They say Guatemala is the land of eternal spring, but it's more like the country of eternal recovery. We're always in the process of surviving any of three things: earthquakes, volcano eruptions, or bloody wars. Pick one."
Click thumbnail for full-size image. Ay, que me alegro volver a BoingBoing. It's good to be back home on the blog.