Guatemala Travel Stories, Page 17

20 Calling Guatemala Travel Tips

Guatemala Travel Tips to help your friends in the USA or Europe call you by telephone or fax you. Do not expect this to work first time, this is a trial and error process until you learn how to this from your present city in your country to the city in Guatemala.

1. Do not use USA country code:
You are NOT calling the USA; the USA country code is not needed.
The country code for the USA is either 001 or 1, you do NOT use this, you are not calling the USA, you are calling Guatemala.

2. 011 is Code to leave the USA
011 is the get me out of the USA number.
011 + country code + area code + local number

3. (+) Plus Sign means: Get me out of country.
Get me out of the country I am in, this normally works only on cell phones and

4. Caribbean and Canada is part of USA telephone system.
In some leap of confusion, Caribbean Islands or even Canada are treated by the telephone companies like the USA, you can dial 1 and not the complete 011, and this is confusing. Therefore, you believe you are calling overseas, but you truly never learned to call a country like Guatemala.

5. Call the person on
It cost you about 2 cents U.S. per minute to call the USA, this is the best way, forget having them call, you call them.

Panajachel, Guatemala --- Tuesday, March 23, 2010
By Andy Graham of


6. Call yourself first on Guatemala Number on
My Tigo number in Guatemala is +50251890132
A person should be able to put that number into and all me, or
011 - 50251890132
See how I added the get-me-out-of-USA telephone code of 011

7. Is the person calling from a cell phone or a landline?
The Plus sign should work on a USA telephone.
If it does not, then you need to use 011- 50251890132
Note, the USA telephone system is not standard with the rest of the planet, the USA system operates with many exceptions to normal rules, herein is your confusion.

8. E-mail them the good number -
Send the Plus number if they use a cell phone:
Send the full number if they are using a landline.
011 ---- 50251890132

9. Call them and make them repeat the telephone number.
When they are writing a number down, they must repeat it, and then you repeat it.
Then you make them repeat it again, if they do not, they are too lazy, you need to call them.

10. Caller ID, this allows them to call back.
I have a USA number, when I call the USA, this number shows up on the persons caller ID, they click on this and after about 20-30 rings it is forward to Guatemala.

11. Skype out number, this allow them to a USA number

12. Use this International Calling help webpage:

13. Call 0 and beg for international calling help.
Or call 555-1212

14. Spouse of person who husband or wife works outside the USA.
Soldiers, Government Officials, there are people in the USA whom have spouses who work outside the USA.

15. Buy a Magic Jack
A Magic Jack is used by many people outside the USA, but requires you have a very fast internet connection.

16. Yahoo Messenger to Yahoo Messenger
If you have a current version of Yahoo Messenger, you can all YM to YM for free.

17. Google Talk to Google Talk Free Call

18. Do not call overseas, this is a solution.

19. Persistence, tell the person who call, they need to try about 20 times with different ways, they need to think, if they only try one time, if they are lazy, this is not going to work.

20. Stop Business Relations
If you are doing business with a person or company that is not capable of understanding how to do all the thinks above intuitively, than you need to cut them loose, and find better-qualified people.

20 Calling Guatemala Travel Tips

My Thoughts on Healthcare in USA

I just won the Healthcare lottery, the USA just passed a HealthCare bill. I have not had Health Insurance from about age 25 until age 54. I could have afforded it; I just did not feel it worth the money. Effectively, I was saying to myself,
"I would rather die than pay 250-350 U.S. Dollars per month."

For 30 years, I have won the Health Care Lottery, I get to keep the 90,000 Dollars I saved and you paid. I can now get the rich to pay my health bills, whoopee.

President Obama tells me, this is now paid for, because I am lucky sperm from the USA.
Thank you President Obama.

Warning, read on at the risk of boring yourself to death.

Panajachel, Guatemala --- Monday, March 22, 2010
By Andy Graham of


Universal Healthcare
Do I have universal healthcare now because of the vote yesterday in the USA?
Has President Obama pushed through HealthCare?

Yes, because President Obama told me so.
Yes, with a lot of small print, exceptions and good intentions, and zero clarity.

What can I effectively do now?
I can demand the Doctors take care of me. I now have the moral high ground, I will be able to walk into a Doctors office, a Hospital and demand they take care of me, and this is valuable.

What is the value of the USA government to me?
In my opinion, the value of being a USA citizen is that my government protects me. If I do something incredibly stupid like walk across the border into North Korea, I can get President Clinton to come to North Korea and say,
"Andy was confused; he did not know he crossed the border."
"The USA will lie on my behalf."

For some unknown reason to me, about 20 percent of the planets, normally called the developed nations earn huge amounts of money. The people of the USA, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand make normally about 8-100 times more money than the rest of the planet.

Cost of Health Care outside USA
The cost of HealthCare in the underdeveloped or normal world is priced correctly. Therefore for about 99 percent of my medical problems, and because I am earn about 20 times more than any of the locals in poorer countries, I can afford to pay Doctors and Hospitals outside the USA with cash out of my pocket.

What I do need?
1. Cancer Treatment
2. Organ Transplants

I suppose I could get in a car accident, and have incredibly bad injuries, that would require years of bone repair work.

I need the USA Healthcare system to pay for anything over 10,000 Dollars per year, this is what I need, but I want them to pay all of the expenses, because I am a USA citizen --- I can jump on a plane here in Guatemala, knowing they will die, while I would live of the same major medical problems.

I earn USA dollars and spend them in cheap countries; I have the buying power of a USA citizen who earns about 150-200,000 dollars. I can afford many health problems because I live outside the USA and earn money from the USA. Now, if I had a big medical problem, because President Obama promised me I have Health Insurance, I would board a plane, fly home, and demand the Doctors and Hospitals take care of me.

I know it not that simple, but that is what he is telling me, providing I pretend I am stupid, therefore, because I am now stupid, I will demand it, and get it. I love the USA!

This is a good use of socialism, and the USA and the world is slowly become 50 percent socialistic and 50 percent free market, this I will be the best of both Democracy and Socialisms combined.

I heard, 65 percent of bankruptcy filing are because of health bills in the USA, I am hoping there is a 65 percent reduction in bankruptcies.

Note: I heard words coming out of Politicians, calling people ignorant, disloyal, non-American and communist. It is beyond my comprehension that an elected politician would be so low to stand at a podium and behave so low classed in front of his or her constituents. I think this stuff is for Twitter and Facebook where soap opera mentality thrives.

I believe it is my responsibility as a smarter, richer person, to take care of people. I feel it my personal responsibility to pay for workers health problem, and then force them to work to pay whereby they take the paycheck I give them and pay taxes.

I am the King, therefore I must take care of the people below me, this is my responsibility I have accepted as King.

My Thoughts on Healthcare in USA

Santa Catarina Lake Atitlan Guatemala Terrace Farming

Here is a video and a few photos of the terrace farming down above the village of Santa Catarina on Lago Atitlan in Guatemala.

This is a farmer who explained the crops being grown up at this level, his name is Hymie, and however I probably am spelling incorrectly.

Panajachel, Guatemala --- Saturday, March 20, 2010
By Andy Graham of


Guatemalan farmers for the most part are Hoe Farmers, I cannot remember ever seeing tractors here, but there may be some in flatter areas. If you study human development, there are different levels, something like:

Hunter Gatherers
Animal Ploughs
Diesel or Gas Tractors

Subsistence Farming
I would estimate that roughly 50 percent of the planet is farmed with hoes, which is often called subsistence farming. I used to think this was sad, I am now happy when I see subsistence farming because it is 100 percent employment and give higher levels of pride to the farmer.

Subsistence farmers generally only grow enough to feed their family, they are self-employed, while they may eat some of their crops, they also sell some for other products. It is difficult for them to lose their jobs; they are employed through economic lows and highs

I believe many tourist feel sorry for these farmers because they never done hard work in their life, and realize they are too lazy to do this type of work; this creates havoc on the planet with inappropriate and irresponsible behavior by the tourist.

This is a view from the farm plot as it looks out over Lake Atitlan here in Guatemala. I consider this one of the most beautiful lakes on the planet, where I am standing is one of the most beautiful and wonderful place I have ever encountered in my 12 years and 88 countries of travel, this is truly a place on top of the world.

As I understood Himie, this is not string beans; he is growing Black, Red, and White beans, and some Onions. I asked about Peanuts, but he said they were grown in other locations.

The farmer is using water that is coming from a small stream or crick that has started at the top of this small mountain to irrigate his plots. Each Terrace or Tablon is not level, this water more or less flows around the plots when he diverts or splashes the water onto the plots. He had a bag of top soil that he was spreading on top of the existing to plot to help new onion seeds to germinate.

Video Below

If you do not see a video above these words, it is because you are reading by email, click here and maybe you can find it: Videos
Video Above

Santa Catarina Lake Atitlan Guatemala Terrace Farming

How to Give Advice Tip

I have learned nobody wants my advice, generally, they are looking for a way to steal good ideas.

I believe it is wise to lock up our ideas, and then puts the key on the table for everyone to find.

Panajachel, Guatemala --- Saturday, March 20, 2010
By Andy Graham of


Therefore, my goal is to be ambiguous when giving advice, this allows the other person to come to a conclusion, call it his or her own. I try to place good ideas in places whereby other people can steal them.

I often hear people says,
"Aren’t you afraid people will steal ideas?"

How to Give Advice Tip

My Guatemala

I claim Panajachel, Guatemala on Lago Atitlan as mine, I have been here maybe five times and I know I will keep coming back.

I sat in what we call the Dinosaur Café; I was on a chair next to Bonnie. This little boy walked up and down along this wooden bench, I sat in waiting, and I was egging him on from afar. Ok, walk, walk, yes, just two more steps, now look up, I took the photo, this is my Guatemala.

It is early, about 7:30 am, this like tike is bundled up in his mother love, making sure he can stay warm in the early morning altitude of 1500 meters above sea level.

Panajachel, Guatemala --- Friday, March 19, 2010
By Andy Graham of


Freedom is a horrible thing; I can go anywhere I want to the planet, therefore making decisions become difficult. I often think having a regular job would be easier, I would enjoy having the man tell me what to do all day, I get lost in freedom.

People say they are hobos, nomads and vagabond, that they are wanderers of the planet, in reality 99 percent of us have strict plans, I am the 1 percent. In my freedom, I strangely keep wandering back to Panajachel, Guatemala, warm days enough to tan in the sun, and cool nights where I need a small blanket.

I was sitting on the same wooden bench, warming in the sun, when the good, the bad, and the ugly sat down on the floor to have a shoeshine boy conference. I took a couple of photos and the one boy hold up his hand saying,
"Five Quetzal."

I did not pay, I look into their eyes and imagine their futures, it is not possible to say what lies in the hearts of these small men, I know one will go astray, and the other will be good, all in all, they are part of a normal world.

There is a whole world of looks here, what is the old women thinking?

The little girl is looking around, the little boy is looking at me, and this is my Guatemala. This country is full of people who want to smile and say hello, they want to be happy. I can walk by a foreigner and say hello, they can look at me, like what gives you the right to be nice. I walk by a Guatemalan person and they will say hello before I do, Indigenous Guatemalans are quick to be friendly.

Quick to be Friendly
One of my prevalent muses is how to make a section on my web page that would evaluate cultures on their ability to be a friend. One of these days, I will have a questionnaire, I will only allow friendly people to fill it out, and this will be the vetting problem.

A. Do the locals smile? Guatemala Indigenous Yes
B. Do they locals say hello? Guatemala Indigenous Yes
C. Do the locals look at you as if you have no right to say hello. No in Dominican Republic, yes in Haiti.
D. Can you say hello to a person and they will ignore you.
"Yes to a person from the Capital of Guatemala, the more Spanish blood people."
"No to the Indigenous Guatemala People."
"Yes to the foreigners in Guatemala."
"Yes to Dominican Republic people."
"Yes to the foreigners in Dominican Republic."
"No to local Haitians."

90 percent of the people from the USA do not want me to say hello to them, I am the minority, I am the one that feels compelled to say hello, and expect you to acknowledge my presence. If you ignore me, I will do my best to make you uncomfortable until you either give up and be decent and friendly, or walk away in disgust. I do not allow unfriendly in my world.

A few Foreigners in Guatemala do slowly learn to be friendly, not all, but many need to go home, they need to go hide.

This is Mariela, maybe Holly; she is a girl from Honduras who sells homemade jewelry along side of the Santander, the main Tourist Street in Panajachel, Guatemala. I think maybe she is one of Sexiest girls I have even seen, in a dreaded, pieced, belly, rolling, staring, personal way, she is a Queen surrounded by Hippie Dippies.

Some people dress up with too many tattoos, too many dreads, and too many adornments and scream,

I like it when another person preens me, I cannot imagine preening myself enough to look like some of the emotional refugees. I try not to look at the dreaded, pieced, and tattoo bunch, I know they need more hugs, kisses, cuddles an intimacy than I am capable of supplying in one lifetime. I say hello, I give a nod, I do not wink…

However, however, however, I look at Mariela as often as possible, I take a walk down towards here stand daily to see if she is full of power. There was a Hippie idea, we will be free, and I think she achieves it, she is free to be her, the rest of the group are true Hobos, they go from play to place looking for a job and if they could, they would con you out your money.

Somewhere in this Hippie Chic is a perfect world, she is able to stay perfect while being surrounded by Bums, Tramps, Vagabonds, Nomads and Hobos.

Note, I told here she could not do that Kiss me on the cheek thing, I told her it made my blood pressure go up too high, truly not what an Alpha Male needs to experience. I accept is, she is more powerful than I am.

I know how to line up my ducks, I know the pecking order, I accept my station in life, but like Charles Dickens said in the first paragraph of the book "David Copperfield." I still am asking the question of myself,
"Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show."

My Guatemala

I Find I am Worried About Thailand

Today is Thursday, March 18, 2010, and maybe there is a small stupid war in Thailand, I am worried a small flame could turn into a bonfire; it is possible for stupid to become even more stupid, this is no limit to the power of stupidity.

I am by default a citizen of Thailand, not literally, but in many ways, I love this country. I argue with the country, the citizens, and at the end of the day, I claim some form of ownership. I have visited or stopped over in Thailand so many times, I would say it is one of my homes away from home. It is one of the perils of being a Global Citizen, you start to care for all countries, I cannot just ignore countries, and all of them slowly live in my memories or daily thoughts.

Panajachel, Guatemala --- Thursday, March 18, 2010
By Andy Graham of


What is Happening in Thailand?
Thailand is like any other country, there are many groups of angry people, and sometime one group grows large enough that it can cause troubles for the whole country. The present problem with the Red Shirts, who are more ore less followers of Thaksin, a billionaire telecoms tycoon who now lives abroad. He left the country in 2006 and while he was gone, the country had a small non-violent military coup. For the last few years, the country of Thailand has been seizing his money, seizing his property and denying he ever done any good for Thailand.

The Red Shirts are supporters of Thaksin Shinawatr, the former Prime Minister; he has billions of dollars and probably can send money to this group to fund their protest.

My guess, it there will never be any peace in Thailand until someone kills Thaksin, because the Red Shirts have continued hope that Thaksin like rule of the country will return, Thaksin refuse to walk away…

Thaksin Was Good and Bad
The problem is this, Thaksin lead the nation into prosperity, and while he did this, he probably put billions of dollars into his pockets. He ran the country more or less, as if it was his own business, and by using his political position, he made great business decisions. Generally, when a politician is also a business owner, there is always a conflict of interest. Thaksin was different, what he could see clearly, he realized, he understood, if he made the country succeed, he could also succeed. In normal countries, money is made at the expense of the country completely, in normal countries, the Prime Minister or leader becomes ungodly rich, gives money to all his close friends and family and more or less kills and shuts up all the small people. Thaksin help the poor, middle and rich class and in the end made himself one of the richest person on the planet.

The USA is not a normal country, underdeveloped countries are normal. 85 percent of countries have a daily wage under 10 dollars, the other 15-20 percent are called developed, but they are not normal, they are privileged and abnormal, all this will change.

Everyone is For Sale in Thailand
It is possible to conquer many countries on the planet, because one person can buy maybe 30-100 strategic people off, and then take over the country. If Thaksin could somehow pay or convince the major leaders of the country to stand down and not oppose him, he could come back into power, take over the country and all the strategic Red Shirt leaders would become rich.

I am jaded on this buying people issue; I believe almost everyone can be purchased. I see writers say things just to sell a camera, the normal person will say about anything for a few dollars of profit, just imagine what you could get leaders to do for a million dollars. People believe then are clever when they make money from people who do not understand, this is not clever, it is corruption of their spirit.

What is going to happen in the future of Thailand?
I tend to hope, someone just kills Thaksin, and the King lives on for another 10 years. This would allow people to forget and life would return to normal in Thailand. I personally see Thailand as the moving force in Southeast Asia; it is the center, the Capital of this region. It is the meeting place of all people who love Asia. Although Japan and South Korea have the money, this is not where the voice of Southeast Asia lives, it lives in Thailand. Singapore and Hong Kong are more like Mafia ran countries, just the intermediary counties that are conduits that allow the western countries to do business with China.

Thailand is not a democracy, the country is ran buy money, and the present leaders need to buy off the correct people. I am do not believe they are as smart as Thaksin, herein lies the problem, they will all fight with each other all wanting to be the next leader to rape the country, while Thaksin is one person, a bigger force.

Somewhere, Thaksin is alive and talking too much, he needs to remember he loves Thailand and walk away from the country for the sake of Thailand. Power is a horrible addiction, when a person needs power to feel ok, they often will just follow the power to their own self-destruction. Look at Saddam Hussein in Iraq as an example, he was rich and then gets himself hung, this is truly just some form of low esteem problem, whereby the leader believes he is more important than his people.

What is my concern, all the business of Southeast Asia, China, the Philippines, Singapore, Hong Kong and all the world needs a stable Thailand. If the Red Shirts could create a nationwide riot, the people of Thailand would tear their country into small pieces.

In the midst of confusion, the confusion can turn into a mob, and then groups of small people can become leaders of nations. Fame and power, there is something ugly in humans, people want their face to be on the cover of the book, every small person somehow believe they are a somebody, while in reality all of us are a nobody. (Castro in Cuba.)

There is no solution, every small person on the planet now believes they have the right to tell the leaders what to do, nobody keeps their mouth shut. I personally will continue to search for isolated places like Panajachel, or Indiana, away from cities like Bangkok or New York where people dream of unlimited power.

Thaksin, please go into hiding, you made your run, please stop, fall on your sword, do something noble, you did a good job; to continue will only cause greater problems. Leaders must love their country more than they love themselves.

You think this only happens in Thailand, the USA is going nuts over this joke of a Health Program, everyone has their hand in the cookie jar, nobody is being noble, and they are working to look good at the cost of the country. Obama talks like a King, not like a democratically elected president, he wants to rule by Charisma, the ugly power of Charisma.

I will go drink my cup of coffee today, and avoid people who talk with too much passion, with some belief they understand the planet. Rage is running rampant in society, take a look around you, can you see rage in the eyes of your friends, do you feel a current of anger under the table. Everyone has some rage, some people search for reasons to be angry. I personally try to find reasons to walk away from people filled with rage. I do like it in myself; I do not like to see it in reader’s comments.

One of you will read this and find a reason to be angry, another will read this and find reason to relax and enjoy life, think about it, who are you?

I Find I am Worried About Thailand

My Potatoes and Life are Not Special

I want to live a simple life, I want to cook potatoes I purchased at the Panajachel City market for 25 Cents, and know the life I purchased was a good value.

What makes my life special is I continuously walk away from the competition of life, I continually stop myself from competing with my fellow man, I do not envy them, I tend to think they are nuts.

Panajachel, Guatemala --- Wednesday, March 17, 2010
By Andy Graham of


Trendy Coffee Shops
Panajachel is full of American Missionary right now, they all seem to sit in trendy coffee shops or bars buying expensive drinks and food. Guatemala is more religious than the USA, but they come here as missionaries, truly a mixed up world.

I enjoy listening to their stories, to how they live, to their agendas, there are daily lessons being taught on why I do not live in the USA daily. I entered a coffee shop here, a nice place, but truly sells expensive coffee in a country that grows coffee. I mean, I can walk down the road and find coffee growing…

I know the world thinks I am cheap; I will enjoy cooking my potatoes. I have never got a handle on this money thing, I know the more I pay, the less value I get in return for my life. I am always in negotiations, trying to make sure what I paid for my life was a good deal.

What makes my life special is I do need to be special; this truly is a life less normal. I now need to figure out how long to cook boiled potatoes, truly one of lifes lessons worth learning.

My Potatoes and Life are Not Special

My Guatemalan Braided Yarn Bracelet Tradition

It is the custom of travelers in Guatemala to wear multicolored bracelets made from yarn. I decided yesterday to buy my first bracelet for this trip into Guatemala.

This little boy was lying on the ground in pain after a Guatemala Tuk Tuk Taxi hit the back of his leg. I decided it was a good time to buy my first yarn bracelet.

Panajachel, Guatemala --- Tuesday, March 16, 2010
By Andy Graham of


Cost of Bracelets
The small bracelet like the one on my wrist above cost about one Quetzal, which is about 12 cents U.S. not much for 30 minutes of weaving.

Watching a little boy crying or whining was not enjoyable, therefore I ended up paying five Quetzals and making a bad deal, but good for him. I was not a socially responsible traveler in this instance, I enabled him to learn pouting and crying earns money, but this is life. (Guilt Extortion or Middle Class Guilt.)

Generally, tourist and travelers call these items, "Typicals," more or less the typical type of colors, clothes, and items made by the Guatemalan locals. I am always debating about these items for years, they make great souvenirs, and however are horrible products to sell in a global market. For example, if they knitted nice sweaters of American or European styles, they would be able to export mass quantities to other countries as normal clothing.

Sadly, the majority of typical products made by the indigenous people of Guatemala cannot be sold in Malls in the USA; they are only souvenirs of Guatemala, which is the end. This is a major business mistake of the world, making products that only are useful within their own country.

My Guatemalan Braided Yarn Bracelet Tradition

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