Manuel Pop Garcia

San Pedro la Laguna

The launch left Panajachel early on a misty morning for the short journey across Lago Atitlán, Guatemala's version of Lake Tahoe. Our destination was the little town of San Pedro la Laguna. 

 

Situated at the foot of the Vulcan San Pedro , this ancient pueblo is home to many many atitecos (as they call themselves) who proudly adhere to a traditional Tz'utujil Maya lifestyle. 

San Pedro is much smaller and less touristy than Panajachel, and is well-known as a backpacking jump off point, as well as a home to a burgeoning cottage industry of Spanish Immersion schools. 

It was while wandering the market on a Saturday that I came across this gentlemen, Manuel Pop Garcia. He was seated on a bench in the shade of a veranda, watching the busy market square. I asked to sit down and we started a conversation. He told me about the history of San Pedro, and how in 1980 and 1981 the town was the scene of kidnappings and murders in the dead of night. Later it was determined that these crimes were committed by the same army troops who were supposedly protecting the town during the day, but by night would kidnap citizens out of greed. This sad chapter of Guatemala's history came to an end in the early 1990's at the conclusion of the civil war.

I asked permission to take his photo and he agreed. 

 

Shot with a Nikon D 300 with a 50 mm Nikon f 1.8 lens,  Aperture of f 8.0, 1/125th of a second, ISO 250. I took a 12 image burst and this was the keeper.

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