Idea #713 – Patrolling with the police around Lago Atitlán in Guatemala
Great writers and anonymous travelers all felt the same shock in front of the clear waters of the lake, overhung by three giants: the volcanoes San Pedro, Tolimán and Atitlán. Their imposing presence reminds us that the lake occupies a caldera formed 84,000 years ago by a powerful eruption. Endoric type, Lake Atitlán has no natural outlet, nor cascade nor stream. It feeds on rain and runoff, while evacuation occurs by evaporation or infiltration. The famous German geographer Alexander von Humboldt described the lake as follows: “Lake Atitlán is the most beautiful lake in the world”. The British writer Aldous Huxley, for his part, thought that “It’s like Lake Como embellished with huge volcanoes. He is really above all. It is also said that Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, who stayed in Guatemala after a plane crash in 1938, would have found inspiration to write The Little Prince. Cerro de Oro mountain, at the foot of Tolimán volcano, has the exact shape of its boa swallowing an elephant …
In 2013, the remains of an ancient Mayan city, Samabaj, about two thousand years old, were discovered at a depth of 17 meters. No wonder: Tzutuhil and kakchikel communities, mostly rural, have inhabited the lake for centuries. Maya women are recognized by their large puff skirts and colorful blouses. For these Indians, who call him “grandmother Atitlán”, the lake is sacred. Most local cults are linked to a natural symbolism flirting with shamanism. We went around with the police in a very nice patrol!
Where is it ?
Lac Atitlan, Guatemala