Hi Akaisha and Bill
Enjoyed reading about your very pleasant-sounding stay on Lake Atitlan.
Would be interested to know about your living situation. Are you renting an apartment for this long stay? Is that easy to do there? Would you mind revealing how much you pay per month, and also if finding somewhere to live for a few months that has an internet connection is difficult. Thanks for any information on all this.
I’d love to hear how the expat community (and you?) are involved in local happenings!
My husband and I will be starting our world travels, open end, as of January 2013. (Exciting and a little scary too…………..)
Thanks for your help.
Thanks for taking the time to write. We appreciate it.
Other towns around the lake (each with their own distinct personality) also offer lodging of various sorts and you can find this information posted – usually at restaurants, cafe’s, and certain sundry stores. Or just ask around. Everyone is interested in renting out a unit to someone.
Apartments can run from $250USD a month to $800 a month + and homes are a bit higher – from $350 to $1,000 month +. Some include furniture, some don’t, but most will require you to pay for utilities and internet. Several hotels will allow you to live full time or for months on end and can provide you with an affordable monthly rate. Depending on the hotel, it can run $200 to $500++ per month. Some hotels will give you access to cooking facilities. These hotels and other accommodation are available all around the lake.
The positive about living out of a hotel room is that most will supply wifi connection, Cable TV, maid service and of course your linens. Some apartments and homes will require you to provide your own linens and your own cable connection and wifi. Dongles (a thumb-drive satellite internet connection) are available here and that will cost you about $100 a month, or you can visit an internet cafe.
Many places (hotels included) have lovely views of gardens, the volcanoes or the lake.
I can’t imagine being bored here at Lakeside. “Local happenings” include live jazz, salsa, and Latin music, indigenous cultural events, parades and markets among other things. Some expats start their own businesses producing honey, locally made coffee, or they open a cafe, a restaurant, a small specialty grocery store or an import/export business selling the high quality Maya weavings or beadwork.
Opportunities for volunteer work runs the gamut and is incredibly interesting. There are those who are working with the Maya midwives around the lake and are teaching the young midwives a combination of Maya healing techniques along with Western medicine nursing approaches. Teaching English as a second language, or helping to install solar coffee bean driersfor the indigenous, teaching locals about sanitation practices, or helping to install purified water systems or solar light bulbs to villages are all projects that are useful and satisfying.
If volunteer work is appealing to you, this is an area of interest and a location where you can make your own mark because the need is great here. One young couple has a small organic farm from which they sell their vegetables and teach classes on sustainability.
Turning Trash into Beauty explains a volunteer training program to teach literacy and financial management to mothers in Guatemala City. While this one particular project is based in Antigua, the idea could be utilized anywhere there is a town or city garbage dump.
All of the above are only examples and there are dozens more.
I hope you find the information which I have offered you here to be of interest. Good luck, and do keep in touch.