September - December 2020
Guatemala of the Maya, volcanoes and toucans
in the photographs of Krzysztof Muskalski
September – December 2020
Guatemala, located in the Mesoamerican zone, became, together with the neighboring lands, the heir to the Mayan civilization. During its period of splendour, it impressed with monumental temples with characteristic stepped pyramids as well as with unique hieroglyphic script, base-20 numeral system, precise astronomical observations and time-measuring systems. Many elements of the Mayan heritage can be found in the ruins of the city of Tikal, lost in the jungle of northern Guatemala, dated for about 2500 years ago. Among Tikal’s 16 temples, the Temple of the Great Jaguar is still the most impressive. Guatemala is also famous as the land of volcanoes. There are as many as 37 of them, of which three - Fuego, Pacaya and Santiaguito - are still active. They still throw out clouds of smoke from their craters, and sometimes even lava devastating nearby settlements. The highest of the volcanoes reaches 4,200 m above sea level undoubtedly adding beauty to the Guatemalan landscape. Guatemala boasts a variety of natural resources. Its tropical forests are full of unique and colorful representatives of flora and fauna. Flora abounds in a diversity of forests, from palm, bamboo, mahogany to coastal mangroves. The local fauna is equally diverse, ranging from jaguars, pumas, deer and tapirs, to extremely colorful quezal birds and toucans. The latter in a special way fit into the nature of this region of America, becoming its iconic trademark. All these elements, spiced up with post-colonial architecture of the cities, draw an extremely colorful and atmospheric picture of Guatemala.
Krzysztof Muskalski, EFIAP/s, AFRP, ZPAF