WHAT THE WORLD

Orange Peel Drama: Soccer Player Takes Flopping For Referee To Fruity New Heights

Diving, flopping and faking for the referee's benefit have become an integral part of modern football. But Guatemalan player Wilfredo Ramos Pérez has taken the craft to the next level of the absurd.

During a match in the Central American country's third division, with one player already on the ground, the referee stopped the match for a foul — that prompted a fan to throw an orange peel on the pitch.

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Guatemalan Open Carry

Just a friendly walk by the pier? Perhaps. The machetes, or "coupe-coupe" as we French call them, are a multi-purpose tool, and were ubiquitous through much of our Central American travels. But looking back at this scene was also a chilly reminder that Guatemala was, and still is, one of the most violent countries in the world.

Displaced Guatemalans Languish On Mexican Border

LAGUNA LARGA — Four months ago, hundreds of villagers were expelled from their land in the jungles of northern Guatemala. The government claimed they were encroaching on a protected national park, sending over 700 men, women, and children fleeing to the nearby Mexican border. According to the Guatemalan daily Prensa Libre, the refugees continue to languish in squalid conditions without any government help despite growing criticism from human rights organizations.

Over 450 refugees remain trapped in the border area between Guatemala and Mexico, living in unsanitary conditions. Three women suffered miscarriages and three children were born without documents in a border zone, leaving them effectively stateless. Several women are pregnant but there is little medical care available, and there are no schools for the children.

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Guatemalan Marimba

Some things never change. If you stay at the Posada de Don Rodrigo in Antigua, Guatemala, it looks like you will still be treated to the sound of a traditional marimba band, as I was 27 years ago.

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Pigeon v. Macaw

The majestuous scarlet macaws flying about in Guatemala were a nice change from the birds I'm used to seeing in the streets of European cities.

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Peeling Out The Middleman

There was no wholesaler, no packaging and no shipping between producer (these K'iche" vendors, of Mayan descent) and consumer (me) of bananas on the famous Guatemalan market of Chichicastenango.

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Miraculously Spared

The baroque Merced church is something of a curiosity in Antigua, Guatemala, a city famous for its ruins of colonial churches: It held up admirably well after a series of devastating earthquakes in the 18th and 19th centuries, after which the capital was moved from Antigua to its current location, Guatemala City.

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Worth The Climb

To reach the ancient Mayan city of Tikal and its vertigo-inducing temples and pyramids, we first had to take a small plane — in a very precarious state — before hopping on a bus through the Guatemalan rainforest.

But the immensity of the site made us quickly forget the journey, and we had no problem finding the energy to climb those hundreds of steps!

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Extra! Impeached Guatemalan President Jailed For Corruption

Guatemala's parliament voted to sack President Otto Pérez Molina Thursday, forcing his resignation and immediate arrest for his suspected participation in an extensive corruption ring.

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Heartbreaking Migrant Images, China Troop Cuts, 3 Trillion Trees

HEARTBREAKING IMAGES SHOW HORROR OF MIGRANT CRISIS

Shocking photographs of the body of a Syrian toddler, whose body had washed up on a Turkish beach after his family's failed attempt to reach Europe, are sparking global outcry. The first of the images shows a Syrian boy identified as Aylan Kurdi, 3, face down on the beach of the southwestern resort town of Bodrum. A subsequent shot shows a Turkish police officer carrying the boy's lifeless body. The photos made the front pages of some newspapers around the world today, though some editors chose not to publish the images in line with longstanding journalistic practice to avoid shocking readers. See how some of the world's top newspapers chose to feature them.

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Vintage Washing

I've already shown you how the Mayans' colorful traditional clothes were made — now you can see how the local women and girls wash them, on the shores of the beautiful Lake Atitlan.

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Mayan Market

"Chichi," as it is affectionately called by visitors and Guatemalans alike, has become one of the most-visited destinations in the country. The colorful blouses these K'iche" women were selling at the city's market contrasted nicely with the dark hair they inherited from their Mayan ancestors.

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Fire And Ice

Most of these locals were selling firewood on the famous market of Chichicastenango. Since it was already pretty hot on this Spring day, we were more interested in what another of the K'iche" vendors, of Mayan descent, was offering: deliciosos helados de crema, ie. "delicious ice cream," as is written on the cart.

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Meaningful Lake

Sure, Italy's Lake Como is beautiful. And Hungary's Lake Balaton is impressive too. But nothing compares to Guatemala's Lake Atitlan and its three volcanoes.

Its name comes from the Mayan language this fisherman's ancestors spoke, and means "the place where the rainbow gets its color." As if that weren't poetic enough, locals call the lake wind here Xocomil — the "wind that carries away sin."


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Winding Back Time

Lake Atitlan, in the Guatemalan highlands, is surrounded by villages in which Mayan culture is still prevalent, and traditional dress is still worn. This old woman, winding yarn on her doorstep, is wearing a hat made with a long band of embroidered textile rolled tighlty aound her head. The weavers in the villages nearby produce their own dyes, largely from plants grown locally.

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