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Site Evolution — August

Fresh, local, cheap

Fresh, local, cheap

It’s late July and we are still working on the site. New features, stamping out bugs, looking for advertisers, … No real problems — just lots of work left to do.

Our goal is still to offer issues each week but, for the time being, we remain a monthly. That means the next issue will appear on 1 September. Note that content will be created and updated between issues and, in particular, classifieds are published when received. An issue just means that the front page will be updated to show the new content.

What issues look like

The short description is not like what you see right now. You probably got to this article from the August 2013 page. Well, August 2013 is an example of the interim issue approach. There is a tool (plugin is the geek word) that allows one to create interesting looking pages with posts in them. Our experience using it has been less than perfect. So, for now, issues will not be as pretty as I want but we do know how to make them.

The current issue will always be the front page. That is, if you just go to http://atitlanlife.com you will see it. Their name will be month and year for now and when we are more than a monthly, they will be month day year. When a new issue is published the old one will be moved to the archive list so you can always refer to it.

Weather Information

As they say, coming soon. The weather station for Pana is here and installed. Works great. But, the computer interface is back-ordered with an expected arrival date in August. So, stay tuned.

If you live in one of the other cities on the lake and happen to have a weather station (or are considering getting one), let us know. While one station in Panajachel is a good start and it is likely that temperatures will be about the same around the lake, the winds will be different. We would love to have another point or two.

Note that so far in July, the highest temperature I have seen is 28C and the lowest 15C.  Yes, I want current info available but, for now, if someone asks about the weather, “nice” is a reasonable reply.


They seem to be working fine. Not much there yet so if you are looking for something or have something to sell here, add a classified. It’s free. Right now there are only a few categories. We will add more as it seems appropriate.

One new category, From the city, may not make sense so let me explain. Some of us travel to Guatemala City regularly or live there and just head to the lake for some time off. Others (like myself) try to avoid cities but, sometimes we need something from the city. While put it on the bus and GuatEx are viable options, there are some things that just don’t need commercial help. The idea is that if you need something from the city that would be convenient for someone else to pick up, post a classified and see what happens.

For example, I have a dishwasher — the machine, not the one named María — and have not found dishwasher detergent in Pana. I have enough for a couple of months but, if someone who will be in a grocery store in Guate could pick me up a couple of boxes, that would be great.

My hope is that this category will go beyond just running an errand but turn into more local friends. For example, the payment for picking up something in the city could be feeding someone’s dog while they are away.

Note that you need to create a login to place a classified and new ads are moderated to eliminate SPAM. If you post one, it should appear within one day, generally within an hour or two.

Display Ads

Small (125 x 125 pixel) display ads appear on the left side of each page. Right now, most of what you see there are samples. If you are a local business, consider placing a display ad. A limited number of free ad slots will be available as we would rather have real ads than just samples. All you have to do is supply the digital artwork (PNG, JPG or GIF format) and, if you want, the URL to go to when someone clicks on the ad and we will put it up for you.

If you do computer graphics work and would be interested in creating the display ads for our customers, let us know. We will give you a free display ad so our customers can find you.

There is also a Google AdSense block. We would much rather have local ads. I will go away when we get enough local ads.


We are still looking for contributors. If you are interested in contributing articles, photos or both, contact us. We are particularly interested in finding authors living in other cities on the lake. It is not our goal to be Panajachel-centric.

Picture-sized version of our logo.

Picture-sized version of our logo.

Speaking of contributors, our logo is a mini-version of this photo. It was donated by my friend Carl who took it when he was here last December.

While it feels right as the logo and is even the source of the icon file, it is a really nice picture in its own right. Thanks Carl.

I also want to thank Karen for what I hope will be the first of a series of local bird pictures. I am also trying to shame her into writing an article about birding and local birds.


Our most complicated project right now is the Events section. We have looked at some software choices and think we have the right answer. But, what we need are some events to plug in to try it out. If you have or know of an upcoming event that seems appropriate, please send the information to events@atitlanlife.com. Include date(s), time, location and contact information.


You are probably wondering why there is a photo of a big salad in this article about the site. Well, it was lunch. I felt it might fit in with the In The Market article I wrote earlier and, well, fit into actually living here.

It’s fairly warm here today — almost 28C — so I decided a salad would be right for lunch. Having made a market trip this morning, I was prepared. What you see that isn’t local are some soy nuts from a package. What you don’t see is the salad dressing that I mixed up from some things in bottles and jars and the tortillas that were made a few blocks away.

Besides that, you can see lettuce, tomato, carrot, red bell pepper, avocado, onion, fresh goat cheese, and broccoli. I would guess it cost less than Q5 with the cost of the avocado and tortillas making up half of that. Buen provecho.

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