A MOUNTAINTOP EXPERIENCE
The little country of Guatemala is spotted with numerous volcanos strewn about in many of its regions – both dormant and active volcanos. The southern part of the country is very mountainous and has about thirty in all. It was on one New Year’s Day when we were living there, that my son Levi and I thought that a nice way to begin the New Year would be to hike up volcano that we had not yet climbed. We had trekked various other ones before that time, but this one, we had not. It was the volcano named Santa Maria, located in the western part of the country.
|How the volcano looked the day before we climbed it|
On that day, we could count what we thought were at least eight of these volcanos. One of the further ones that we could see was the dormant volcano, Santa Maria. This volcano, despite being one of the furthest ones that we could see, was only about a half a day drive from our house. We decided right then, on the top of that Thanksgiving mountain, that on some clear day in the near future, we would go a nearby town, get a hotel, and climb it on the following day.
The town near the volcano is called Quetzaltenango, but the original Mayan name for the town is Xelajú. The Mayan name means “Under the ten peaks.” This is because the town sits in a valley surrounded by ten mountains. The volcano Santa Maria is one of these mountains.