Ain’t No Pity in Guatemala City

Our mission to Guatemala City was a complete victory thanks to our new friend Mario. He is a Guatemalan who went to school with our other friend Corby up in the US. Corby made the introduction and Mario completely styled us out. We never would have been able to accomplish our goals without him. We bought a disposable cell phone and he guided us through Guatemala City as we drove in. And I mean straight through. We saw the guts of the city and it was rad… and a little scary. He had a hotel room with secure parking waiting for us on the other end. He had done all the research on the Sprinter dealership and we had an appointment lined up. Then, on top of it all, he and his lovely wife took us out for an amazing steak dinner! That is some serious hospitality for someone you’ve never met. Thanks guys. We won’t forget you.
The Sprinter dealership was great. As soon as we rolled in they put two guys to work on our van. We were out of there in 4 hours which is unheard of down here. Plus they let me hang out and learn how to change the air, fuel, and oil filters. I can’t believe I’m getting to the point where I can have conversations in spanish. I’m understanding most of what is said and can communicate back fairly well. We changed the oil and did a full inspection. These guys confirmed that everything on the van is in top shape. I feel much better now.
Due to the danger, most people who travel to Guatemala skip visiting Guatemala city, which is a shame. It was a treat to have Mario host us. We would not have come into the city without his help. The police here are known to be the worst in all of Central America. Mario was telling us that kids are actually taught to run away from cops. It is quite common to have a police man pull you over and then when you roll down your window they throw a small bag of cocaine into your vehicle. Don’t get too excited guys, they aren’t being friendly. If they get it into your car, you’re screwed. Mario instructed us to call him immediately if we got pulled over, but luckily we didn’t. One of the side effects of having such a corrupt police force is that all the businesses, delivery trucks, and more affluent people hire “private security”. These guys are everywhere and they’re all toting shot guns and machine guns. There are armed 20 year old kids on every corner. It makes for a very wild wild west feel.
We left the city after the Sprinter was finished and drove to Antigua where we plan to hang for a couple days. This place is beautiful, and very white with mostly Euro travelers. We’re meeting up with several other world travelers for a Pan American party tonight. Should be fun! We’re itching to get to El Salvador though. The surf reports have been inviting. TREE


  1. Damn, that is a little scary. Although I support giving guns to kids, I just wouldn't want to be around them.

  2. Anonymous says:

    You two have a bunch of angels looking after you on this trip.

  3. I'm so happy to hear that you guys are taking care of your vehicle on this trip. That is really important. Good job Tree. Stay safe.

  4. How is Kiki? No news of her lately.

  5. Kiki is doing well. She actually just recovered from being quite sick though. She started acting really strange back in Belize. We were worried and took her to a vet. Turns out she got tick fever in Mexico. Its like Dengue fever for dogs. She was wiped out. We got her meds and she is all better now. She is also starting to adapt to the heat down here.

  6. Thank you so much Mario for hookin them up. If you are ever in the states we would lOve to return the favor. Seattle is gorgeous in the summer!
    Love- Tree's sister

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