Exploring La Ventosa Farm House

La Ventosa, Guatemala: Exploring the Mayan-Mam Village

In Guatemala by Erik Van GilsonLeave a Comment

La Ventosa, Guatemala is the base town for hiking to La Torre in the Cuchumatanes mountains – see why you should also take the time to explore this interesting rural village near Todos Santos. 

Why we Enjoyed La Ventosa, Guatemala

Here at DIY Travel HQ some of the best places we have been to have had no attractions at all. No; let me correct that statement:

The places that we love tend to be simple in nature, and the people and environment create longer lasting memories than the best museum in the world.

Perhaps our inner most desire is to remove the burdens of electronics, and return to a simpler time.

Find out what we saw in just two hours exploring La Ventosa.

* Don’t forget to purchase travel insurance before any trip to Guatemala. We’ve been using World Nomads for over 10 years – it’s the best-value provider we’ve found & we’ve also never had any issues on the few occasions we’ve had to make a claim.

Exploring La Ventosa Farming Fields

There is something about physical labor that gives you a sense of accomplishment, and helps you sleep at night.

Exploring La Ventosa, Guatemala

You don’t have to go very far from the main towns to get away from everything, when you already are away from everything.

La Ventosa is between Huehuetenango and Todos Santos Cuchumatan, but far removed from both.

Our walk was just along the main road linking both.

Todos Santos Cuchumatan to Huehuetenango Road in La Ventosa

Get off the tourist trail, and discover a different side of Guatemala.

  • People in La Ventosa, Guatemala

From the landscape, it is possible to tell that the residents make their living off the land.

Sheep grazed on the pastures, vegetables grew in the fields, and the men collected firewood.

There was even one family having a picnic as they watched over their sheep.

Exploring La Ventosa Family Picnic while Sheparding Sheep

I’m not sure which is better: watching grass grow, or sheep eat it? Might as well have a picnic.

Children along the road would run to the edges of their property, yell hola, smile, and wave.

Their smiles were contagious, and it was fun to see their excitement.

Whenever I tried to take a picture they would disappear, only to return again once the camera was away.

The only proof that they were there was a boarded-up building that the kids used as a chalkboard for their drawing and writing.

Exploring La Ventosa Children's Drawings on House

La Ventosa ‘graffiti’ on the side of a building.

There was one family that chased me down in order to take their picture.

They were hoping that I would be returning, and could print a copy for them.

I tried to arrange emailing them, but they didn’t even have an email address. Electronics and the internet had no effect on their daily lives.

Their main concern was making ends meet, working the land, and selling at the markets.

Exploring La Ventosa Family Posing

I hope this family finds this picture one day.

Several houses had visible chujs, a traditional sauna for the Mayan-Mam people in the Guatemala Highlands.

One might think it was a cellar to keep things cold, but the temperature is already chilly at 3,400 meters above sea level.

Exploring La Ventosa Chuj

If you get the chance while in the Guatemala Highlands, try the chuj traditional sauna.

Another common sight were women weaving colorful fabric that would be made in to traditional clothing.

The process is very time consuming, but each generation of women helps from the elderly down to children.

That is how the area has maintained such a strong sense of tradition.

Exploring La Ventosa Weaving Traditional Clothes Fabric

Everything is done by hand, and not much has changed over the years for the locals of La Ventosa.

  • Landscape in La Ventosa, Guatemala

One of the more striking aspects to La Ventosa was the landscape, and how the local flora was used to accent houses and roads.

As you can imagine, it is quite rocky upon the plateau of the Cuchumatan Mountains.

Fields were filled with small boulders, and larger ones lined the edge of properties.

Backyards were cut short on the north side by steep, rocky terrain.

Exploring La Ventosa House and Rock Formation

La Ventosa feels like Southwest China w/ remote villages, rock formations, wooden houses & mist in the air.

Despite having a ban on hard liquor, flowering agave were abundant.

Exploring La Ventosa Agave in Bloom

We didn’t realize the bright yellow flowers on ‘sticks’ we saw before were flowering agave plants.

They used the succulents to secure the soil along the sides of roads, and as landscaping on top of stone walls.

Exploring La Ventosa Agave Along Side of Road

Exploring La Ventosa Agave Wall

I’m not sure the roots won’t tear the wall down as the plants grow.

  • Animals in La Ventosa, Guatemala

A remote village wouldn’t be complete without animals.

The most threatening were the turkeys.

We tried to get closer to one for a better picture, but he started charging at us.

Exploring La Ventosa Turkey

That’s one tough turkey!

We watched two others either fighting or mating, but couldn’t tell.

Regardless, it was still fun to see one balance on a wire fence while peacocking given his size.

Exploring La Ventosa Turkey Staring Contest

One way or another this turkey is expressing his love for another.

We didn’t see any chickens, but the hens had houses built for them throughout La Ventosa.

Exploring La Ventosa Elevated Hen House

Step right up ma’am. Your room is on the second floor.

Grazing sheep were a very common sight, and several young boys were seen shepherding a flock.

Their tool of the trade were not dogs or horses, but rather a whip that got the sheep riled up.

Exploring La Ventosa Grazing Sheep

You need to tie the sheep down, or else they might become skittish and run into the middle of traffic.

We usually associate pigs eating scraps and being dirty animals, but both pigs we saw were grazing just like all the other animals.

I’m sure they would have loved to be untied, and left to forage through the vegetable gardens though.

Exploring La Ventosa Pig Grazing

Who knew pigs eat grass too?!

Our exploration of La Ventosa came to an abrupt end when the fog rolled in, and the Mayan-Mam village disappeared before our eyes.

Perhaps it was all just an illusion, but we hope you enjoyed exploring La Ventosa as much as us.

Exploring La Ventosa Fogs Rolling In

La Ventosa was covered in a layer of fog in just a matter of minutes.

 

***The Final Word – Sometimes the unexplored is the place worth exploring the most.***

What place has caught you by surprise while traveling?

4 Shovels

Easy DIY travel outside city centres using public transport

Visited in August 2016

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