colorful carpet
Colorful Guatemala

Few would doubt, having travelled around “The Land of Eternal Spring”, that one of the over-riding impressions left with visitors to Guatemala is the abundance of colour in every walk of life.

Indeed, this is exactly what local resident author Alex Morritt admits was the principal inspiration behind his book, “Glimpses of Guatemala – a poetic & photographic perspective”, published in May 2012.

“Whether it be the elaborately custom painted ‘Chicken Buses’; The open air street markets blossoming with fruits and vegetables of every conceivable hue; The dizzying array of beautiful hand-woven, naturally-dyed textiles; even the cemeteries…”, he continues.

 Mayan woman in traditional dress
Mayan woman in traditional dress

“And to add the icing on the cake….key annual events such as during Semana Santa, when the streets of Santiago de Atitlan are dressed up to the nines with ‘Alfombras’ or street carpets lovingly laid out by young and old alike with the help of stencils and multi-coloured sawdust known as ‘Aserrin’ ; or on All Saints’ Day (Day of the Dead) in Sumpango, Sacatepéquez, where giant, multi-coloured kites sporting incredible designs are displayed with glowing pride and the skies above are awash with squadrons of smaller craft ducking and diving in the early November sun.”

“And then there are the much subtler renditions of colour no less magical….expertly terraced landscapes on impossibly steep slopes, like giant woven quilts sporting a maze of multiple green and brown squares, and every variation of tint in between”, he summarises, pausing for reflection.

Extract from “Guatemalan Street Markets” poem:

Guatemalan street markets

“..Bright red tomatoes,
radishes and peppers,
On sale next door to pairs of hedge clippers,
Deep purple aubergines, beetroot, and onions,
Flanked by a store selling quick cures for bunions,
A sea of dark green from fresh mint and lime,
Makes me wish it was Mojito time… Guatemalan street markets


“Hear more of “Guatemalan Street Markets” here:
Print copy:
iPad format:
iTunes download:
Poetry narration:

All rights reserved. All images copyright Alex Morritt