Hours for the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

Have you ever showed up at the Embassy expecting to get that last bit of paperwork done? You stroll up ready to navigate the embassy lines and think you’re in luck because there’s no line at all! Then you realize that there’s no line because some obscure holiday has closed the embassy!

Hopefully this will help you avoid this because the U.S. Embassy’s schedule in Guatemala is simple…sort of:

The Guatemalan U.S. Embassy is open Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and on Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Note: The American Citizen Services Unit will be closed to the public on the third Thursday of each month, except for emergencies. Please note also that the Embassy is closed for official U.S. AND Guatemalan holidays.

Here’s the calendar for 2012 (Follow this link to the Embassy’s calendar.)

2016 Calendar Year

Date

Weekday

Holiday Observed

January 1 Friday New Year’s Day (A & G)
January 18 Monday Martin Luther King’s Birthday (A)
February 15 Monday Presidents Day (A)
March 24 Thursday Holy Thursday (G)
March 25 Friday Good Friday (G)
May 1 Sunday Guatemalan Labor Day (G)
May 30 Monday Memorial Day (A)
July 1 Friday** Army Day (G)
July 4 Monday U.S. Independence Day (A)
August 15 Monday Feast of the Assumption (G)
September 5 Monday U.S. Labor Day (A)
September 15 Thursday Guatemalan Independence Day (G)
October 10 Monday Columbus Day (A)
October 20 Thursday Revolution Day (G)
November 1 Tuesday All Saints Day (G)
November 11 Friday Veterans Day (A)
November 24 Thursday Thanksgiving Day (A)
December 24 Thursday Christmas Eve – half day (G)
December 26 Monday Christmas Day (A)
December 31 Saturday New Year’s Eve – half day (G)

Mapas de Viajes GPS para Guatemala

Moverse en Guatemala puede ser difícil. Encontrar un buen mapa de carreteras de la capital o de esta nación que es aproximadamente el tamaño de Tennessee es difícil también. Ahí es donde los Sistemas de Posicionamiento Global (GPS) son útiles.

Tenemos un Garmin Nuvi 1350 que cuenta con mapas grandes de los EE.UU., pero un mapa impreciso muy tosco y, francamente, que muestra algunas carreteras en Guatemala, pero cuando conduzco las carreteras del mapa base resulta ser, de la carretera. Por lo tanto, fui en busca de mapas GPS que pueda descargar y me encontré con algunas opciones:

Guatemala Captura de pantalla de GPSWORLDNET

He encontrado una serie de comentarios negativos sobre mapas de viajes GPS, así que tuve que ir con otra opción … GPSWorldNet y estoy muy contenta de haberlo hecho. Tienen mapas de toda América Central, (aunque sólo he probado la guatemalteca). He encontrado que los mapas de GPS de GPSWorldNet son muy precisos y de gran utilidad en el campo. No sólo eso, una vez tuve una Garmin Nuvi que le había cargado los mapas de GPSWorldNet en el pero desapareció. Yo había descargado mis puntos de viaje por carretera de Garmin, así que fui capaz de salvarlos!

Yo ya había pagado los $80 para ver el mapa en concreto para mi primer Nuvi. Pensé que tendría que volver a comprar el mapa, pero cuando me puse en contacto GPSWorldNet, amablemente me proporcionó la descarga del mapa para mi Nuvi nuevo y está funcionando muy bien! Dos pulgares arriba a GPSworldnet.

Aquí están las razones principales que me gustan de mi Mapa GPS de Guatemala:

• Los mapas precisos de la Ciudad de Guatemala, pueblos y carreteras locales.

• Muchos de los puntos locales ya cargados (aunque hay mas salas de billar de lo que jamás podría desear!)

• La funcionalidad de los dispositivos de Garmin es facil. (Sólo tienes que seguir las sencillas instrucciones para cargar el mapa en el equipo!)

• Los mapas funcionan para Windows Symbian y Android, así como los dispositivos de Garmin.

Si estás buscando un buen mapa Recomiendo GPSWorldNet para toda América Central.

Un lugar para obtener suministros especiales para bebés

Babby Place en Facebook

He encontrado un lugar para obtener suministros especiales para bebés (incluyendo los extractores de leche) en Guatemala! Se llama Babby Place. Ellos continuamente tienen una variedad de productos y pueden enviar artículos de todo el país rápidamente!

Compruébelo usted mismo en el Babby Place (sic) en Facebook y obtenga los artículos del bebé que usted necesita! Puede enviarles un correo electrónico a babyplacegt@hotmail.com para pedir algo si no lo encuentran en su sitio de Facebook.

Después de que mi bebé nació en una clínica de parto natural en la ciudad de Guatemala, me di cuenta  que necesitaba un extractor de leche  y no son fáciles de encontrar en Guatemala. Gracias a La Leche líder de la Liga en Xela, me enteré de Babby Place y fui capaz de que me enviaran uno a mí en tan sólo unos pocos días! He pagado a través de una transferencia de dinero en el banco local BanRural. Sólo ten en cuenta que el envío se envía como un pago a la entrega por lo que cuesta alrededor de 40 quetzales para recibir el paquete.

Si usted está buscando una buena conexión con los productos especializados para bebés y ya está en Guatemala, debe darle una oportunidad a Babby Place.

Comadrona en la Ciuidad de Guatemala

Una familia en frente de la clinica.

Centro De Parto Natural
Mientras que las parteras mayas o comadronas son comunes en el campo de Guatemala, la búsqueda de una partera que hable inglés en Guatemala puede ser difícil. Lo mejor que podemos decir es que encontramos a la única partera entrenada en Estados Unidos, de habla inglés en la ciudad de Guatemala cuando encontramos a Hannah Friewald en el Centro de Parto Natural, donde se especializa en los nacimientos en agua y tiene uno de los pocos, si no el único, centro de nacimiento en agua en toda América Central.

Historia de Hannah
Hannah es de Alemania, donde los partos en casa son la norma. Se ha rodeado de eso toda su vida y también habla perfectamente el inglés. Se formó en los Estados Unidos a través de la Maternidad La Luz en El Paso, Texas, y también está certificada en Guatemala (que puede ser una cosa importante si su seguro médico internacional sólo ofrece cobertura para la atención médica certificada).
Hannah ha trabajado como matrona desde hace años y ha asistido a unos 1.400 nacimientos a partir de mayo del 2011. Ella dijo que nunca ha perdido un bebé, e incluso habló de un par de bebés de nalgas que ha dado a luz y algunos bebés VBAC (Nacimiento Vaginal Después de la Cesárea) que tambien ha dado a luz, junto con un par de situaciones de emergencia. Ella ha dio a luz a bebés de los embajadores de un par de diferentes países de Europa, aquí en Guatemala y parece tener un horario lleno.
Nos quedamos muy contentos con el cuidado que nos dio a nosotros durante el parto de nuestro primer hijo. Ella se ocupó de nuestro parto de 31 horas con un enfoque profesional y atento que nos ayudó a tener la experiencia de parto que siempre quisimos. Sin duda, nos volveremos con Hannah cuando tengamos la oportunidad.
Continue reading

How to buy a car in Guatemala.

Here’s how to buy a vehicle in Guatemala:

1. Find the vehicle you want.

First do your research to get a feel for what you need and what is quality.

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. Am I going to be in the mountains, the city, or where?
  2. Do I need a truck, 4×4, van, car, etc.
  3. How many people will I need to carry?

Here are some good resources to check or keep in mind:

  • Research
  • Key words:
    • Rodado = brought down from the U.S. (often had some sort of accident)
    • Agencia = made in or for Guatemala (often has speedometer in kilometers) (often valued higher than Rodado)
    • Tramitador = a person who helps with paperwork for various legal ranglings
    • Taller de mechanica = a mechanic shop
    • Frenos = brakes
    • Llantas = tires
    • Aciete = oil
    • Oxido = rust

Continue reading

How to Make Brown Sugar

My husband loves cookies, but most of his favorite recipes call for brown sugar. Here in Guatemala we haven’t found a good source for brown sugar that is like what we could get in the states. Oh, they have brown colored sugar that they sell in the Dispensa Familiar for about US$1.60 for a bag but it’s not the same. Recently, we discovered that we can make brown sugar on our own!

First you have to find molasses. We asked around and found two sources:
1) Guatemala City

There’s a little baking supply shop in San Cristobal in the shopping center located on the opposite side of the boulevard from Burger King/Cemaco. I don’t have the name right now, but I’ll try to add it later.

They charge by the pound for the molasses (about Q15/lb.) but that’ll make a bunch of brown sugar!
2) Quetzaltenango (Xela)

The Bake Shop is at 18 Av 1-40, Zone 3. Hours are 9am-6pm, Tuesday and Friday.

I’ve heard they have molasses but I don’t know the pricing.

Molasses and a cup of white sugar ready for combination!

Once you have your molasses on hand here’s the recipe:

1 cup of white sugar (non-sulfurized is best but you can use regular granulated sugar)

1 tablespoon of molasses

Mix these together. (You can add more or less of the molasses to have darker or lighter results.)

I found that the molasses kinda balls up in the sugar but a fork will mash it against the side of the bowl and mix it in really nicely!

Pour one tablespoon of molasses into one cup of sugar.

 

Use a fork or mixer to mash the molasses into the sugar until it is well mixed and fluffy!.

After you get the mix you like, store the fresh brown sugar in an airtight container, place on top of oatmeal, or mix up your next batch of cookies!

Fluffy new brown sugar on our oatmeal cereal breakfast!

 

I got this idea from Joy the Baker!

Prevention and cure: Dealing with mildew

Ok, so we spent a few days getting settled in to our apartment in Guatemala before heading off to the states for a visit. Right before we left, my dear husband closed the windows and the doors to our room, and sprayed some bug spray to try and keep any curious bugs away. We thought we were set for six weeks of traveling in the states!

Little did we know that for those six weeks the humidity in the highlands of Guatemala would continue to climb and our nicely closed up rooms would become giant growth chambers for mildew and mold!

Sure enough when we arrived back from our visit stateside, our bedroom welcomed us with the dank scent of mildew. Our clothes were damp, our pillows discolored and the musty smell was almost deafening. Yes, it hit our senses so hard we almost lost our hearing! Continue reading

Speciality baby supplies in Guatemala

I found a place to get speciality baby supplies (including breast pumps) in Guatemala! They continually have a variety of products and can ship items across the country very quickly!

Check it out at Babby Place (sic) on Facebook and get the baby items you need! You can email them at babyplacegt@hotmail.com to request something if you don’t see it on their Facebook site.

After my baby was born at a natural childbirth clinic in Guatemala City, I found that I needed a breast pump and they’re not easy to find in Guatemala. Thanks to La Leche League leaders in Xela, I found out about Babby Place and was able to have a shipped to me in just a few days! I paid through a money transfer at a local BanRural Bank. Just be aware that the shipping is sent as a pay-on-delivery so it cost about Q40 to receive the package.

If you’re looking for a good connection to specialty baby products and you’re in Guatemala, give Babby Place a try.

Here’s another source of baby/kid supplies and accessories that I found in Guatemala City.

GPS maps for Guatemala

Driving in Guatemala with my GPS in action.

Getting around in Guatemala can be tough. Finding a good road map of the capital or this nation that is roughly the size of Tennessee is difficult as well. That’s where Global Positioning Systems (GPS) come in handy.
We have a Garmin Nuvi 1350 that has great maps of the U.S. but a very rough and, frankly, inaccurate base map that shows some highways in Guatemala but when I drive the highways the basemap proves to be , the highway . So, I went in search of GPS maps that I can download and I found a few options:

 

Guatemala Screen shot from GPSWORLDNET

I found a number of negative comments on GPS Travel Maps so I had to go with another option…GPS World Net and I’m very glad I did. They have maps for all of Central America, (though I have only tested the Guatemalan one). I have found GPS World Net’s GPS maps to be accurate and very useful in the field. Not only that, I once had a Garmin Nuvi that I had loaded the GPS World Net maps on but it disappeared.  I had downloaded my points to  Garmin’s Road Trip so I was able to save those!

 

I had already paid the $80 for the map specifically for my first Nuvi. I thought I’d have to re-purchase the map, but when I contacted GPS World Net they graciously provided me with the download of the map for my new Nuvi and it’s working great! Two thumbs up to GPSWorldNet.

 

Here are key reasons I like my Guatemalan GPS map:

  • Accurate maps of Guatemala City, Villages, and local roads.
  • Lots of local points already loaded (though more pool halls than I could ever want!)
  • Easy functionality with Garmin devices. (Just follow the simple instructions to load the map on the device!)
  • Maps function for Windows Symbian and Android as well as Garmin devices.

 

If you’re looking for a good map I recommend GPSWorldNet for all of Central America.

 

US Citizen born in Guatemala = Paperwork

If you’re an expatriate and you’re having a baby in Guatemala, be ready for some paperwork. It takes work, but it’ll be worth it.

As new missionaries in this beautiful country, we moved to Guatemala while we were pregnant and started getting all the advice we could on what paperwork we needed for our baby. Here are some of the things we learned…

Step 1: Schedule a US Embassy appointment

If you’re anywhere within three months of the birth go to the US Embassy website and set up an appointment for a couple weeks after the due date.  (UPDATE: As of(May 2014 the US embassy in Guatemala  now only opens appointments about one month prior to the appointment date. So you’ll have to check in about a month ahead of the date you want.) These appointments fill up and it can be very difficult to get in if you don’t get something scheduled early. You can change it if you have to, but better to have the appointment scheduled than to find out you can’t get an appointment for two or three months after the baby  is born when you may be wanting to travel.

TIP: I think you could probably have your spouse sign up so you have two dates to chose from. Then just cancel the appointment you don’t want! Continue reading