Culture Shock in Panajanchel

culture shock in panajanchel life out of the box lootb

As I sit here at this ice cream shop in Panajanchel waiting for JB to find us our new home for the night, I find it hard to write.  Perhaps it is difficult to express how I feel here in Guatemala or maybe it is just that I don’t want to miss anything happening on this main street.

Life out of the box in panajanchel, guatemala

It is all just so fascinating to me.  The juxtaposition of the beautiful indigenous women dressed head to toe in their beautiful handmade fabrics next to modern day motorcycles, cars, tuk tuks, scooters, tourists dressed in “normal clothes”, touristy bars and restaurants and everything in between is just a scene I can’t take my eyes off of.


What is normal? I suppose my normal is actually different to them and vice versa.  I cannot wait to learn more about their normal.

Life out of the box in panajanchel, guatemala

Before our 18 hour bus ride here, we had no idea what to expect while living in Guatemala.  We assumed it would be a bit different than Nicaragua, but not too much and thought for sure we wouldn’t feel as safe as we did in Nicaragua.  But in just our first 24 hours here our entire perspective has changed.  Guatemala is so different than Nicaragua, but not in a scary or bad way at all–just different. I love it here already.

Life out of the box in panajanchel, guatemala

There is a very different vibe here and it’s hard to put my finger on why exactly that is. Maybe it is the unexpected modern franchise restaurants or the hundreds of local residents running around trying to sell to tourists.  Or possibly the strong sense of culture that I get from the indigenous men, women and kids.

Life out of the box in panajanchel, guatemala

They are all incredibly intriguing and I want to learn everything I can about them. Right now I feel like I am experiencing culture overload (aka culture shock), but I know that the longer I am exposed to it all the more comfortable I will be.

Life out of the box in panajanchel, guatemala

I’m looking forward to sharing this experience of adapting to this amazing culture with you all through photos, articles and videos . I don’t know exactly how this all will pan out, but what I do know is that we are both so excited to be here, to find opportunities and see what this place will teach us.

Life out of the box in panajanchel, guatemala

Brand new rasta wrap bracelet up on the store today friends called “Destiny“! Check it out in the photos below and on our store at


4 responses to “Culture Shock in Panajanchel

  1. I remember it well – take a boat across to Santiago Atitlan and the compound next to the hotel on the waterfront is the Phillipi Compound – tell them Jeff Lors sent you and I know they will take care of you –

  2. Pingback: House Hunting in Panajachel | Life Out of the Box·

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