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Grocery Shopping

If you are new to the area or just a tourist with a stove and refrigerator, knowing what’s available and where to buy it is important. This post is primarily for people on the west side of the lake — from Panajachel to San Lucas.

In all the pueblos you will find an assortment […]

Talking to William

I was chatting with my friend Dennis and this “Gringo” came up to us to ask some questions. His name is William and he is from Tucson Arizona. He was in a caravan of vehicles headed to Costa Rica. He had just spent the night in Panajachel and was considering abandoning the caravan to […]

What’s it cost to stay in Panajachel?

Typical breakfast menu

One of the people asking about our rental unit asked this question. As there is no kitchen in the unit, the question was inspired by the cost of eating out but I have decided to be a bit more comprehensive. The information is also much more generic as the rental […]

Local cooking

Tasty casserole made from local ingredients.

OK, I did the cooking. What is important is that I bought the ingredients within walking distance of my house.

If I was in Seattle, I would expect to find the ingredients nearby. Maybe not walking distance but close. But, I am in Panajachel and this is […]

Cebolla in Sololá

In the market in Sololá. Photo by Rocio.

The public market in Sololá is big. Many times larger than the one in Pana and well-organized. That is, you will find all the places vending a particular type of thing (shoes, for example) in one area.

The primary focus is, of course, food and […]


Looks like cacao but isn’t.

This post is mostly about why you would want to go to the public market with a local — even if you have been going there regularly for two years. The trip today was with Rocio, the 16 year old daughter of Juanita, a person who cleans our […]

What’s it cost?

Pineapples are cheap right now.

I just sent some email to tell a friend what some things cost. While I was thinking about food, I figured I could turn this into something that was both useful and funny. Let’s see how it works.

The number I want to work with is 5 quetzales […]

Chipilin — the plant

Not a tamale but the plant.

I wrote about tamales of chipilin in a previous post. All indication is that chipilin is nutritious but, beyond that, it just tastes good. My friend Keith has gone as far as to say that he doesn’t normally eat things with green stuff in them but those […]

Plums and more

Not ice cream sticks.

Plums, strawberries, mangos and, of course, bananas seem to be the most popular fruit in the market right now. Plums and strawberries cost Q5/lb, more or less. Mangos vary from Q1 each to 2 for Q5 depending on size, type and how you act. I say how you act […]


Got any left over pasta?

This photo was taken inside the Bistro, a restaurant on Calle Santander fairly close to the lake. He really was quite well-mannered. Until the waiter asked him to leave (the waiter was well-mannered as well), he walked from table to table, sat down and waited. He never said […]