The first half of my travels to Guatemala consisted of me doing mission work at a Children’s home, Casa Aleluya.The second half of my trip consisted of exploration of the quaint town Antigua.
Casa Aleluya is an absolute amazing experience for any individual who walks through those gates. Casa is a Christian Children’s home who takes in children who have been abused, neglected or their families simply couldn’t provide for their basic necessities. Casa Aleluya was founded by a strong Christian couple, who have taken in children and have loved and raised them as their own, with the help of only twenty-four permanent staff. Casa can have anywhere from 300-600 kids, give or take, so the staff of Casa has a merely impossible job. They are caring for hundreds of kids 24/7, that is why it is so very crucial for mission groups to come in and give the children the love and attention they deserve. The goal coming into Casa Aleluya is to impact the children’s lives and to help out with projects around the children’s home, but by the end of your stay at the home the children are the ones who change your life. The things most of the children have endured are incomprehensible, yet they carry such a joy inside their hearts, they embrace you with open arms and love any gringo friends they can make. The biggest burden on Casa’s staff, is the children going to court and never returning. Children are sent back into abusive, volatile homes, they do not have a chance to say goodbye. This is not Casa’s doing, but the government’s, the government decides to place children back into homes where they cannot flourish. Casa Aleluya is not deterred by the government’s rules and regulations, they continue to educate, love and instill the love of Christ in every child that walks through those gates. If you would like to find out more about Casa or donate, HERE IS THEIR WEBSITE.
Antigua is a quaint, colorful town filled with great architecture and delectable food. There is so much to see and experience, breathtaking Cathedrals, mouthwatering ice cream, zip lines and open air markets. I am going to review a handful of the things I did, saw and ate.
Hotel Camino Real
This hotel is gorgeous and a steal at only $150 a night for a room with two queen beds. Hotel Camino Real features a large Jacuzzi, a spa, purified water, a dinning hall, a bar and much more. Safety is no issue, for Hotel Camino Real has a gate separating the hotel from the main street, and a gate to past the lobby that uses key card access to get in and out. The food in the restaurant is more pricey and not as great, so I would recommend venturing out into Antigua to find some great food! I would recommend the Hibiscus Green Tea or Tex-Mex nachos sold at the bar, both of those items were amazing.
Antigua Guatemala Cathedral
The Antigua Guatemala Cathedral was built in 1541, several earthquakes demolished the church over time. The Church was torn down down in 1669, and rebuilt and consecrated in 1680. The Antigua Guatemala Cathedral was once considered the largest Cathedral in all of Central America, now it is only 10% of the size.
Iglesia de La Merced
Some of the oldest structures in La Merced date back all the way to the seventeenth century.
Cafe Boheme is a small, charming cafe. They have an exquisite lunch menu consisting of salads, sandwiches, soups and desserts.
Meson Panza Verde
Meson Panza Verde is a beautiful restaurant and hotel. The food is good, but not good enough personally for the price tag. You can find food ten times better throughout Antigua for half the price. The hotel has a beautiful rooftop to see the breathtaking city, and Meson Panza Verde also has a romantic room you can reserve for two.