Monday, June 16, 2008


Colin and Jessica
Throughout our experiences in San Juan, there have invariably been things that some people liked and some people didn´t. Patrona´s is the one exception. Everyone has enjoyed her fantastic cooking, welcomingattitude, constant smile, and her friendly and maternal demeanor.

As an introduction, Patrona is the amazing woman at whose home we eat. In reality, she is so much more than a mere cook. She has not only provided us with her many jams, dishes, and various drinks – she has repeatedly told us that when we are here we are family. She makes teawhen we are sick, remembers our dietary needs, and even celebrates thepassing of our birthdays with special treats and gifts.

Our favorite foods include various jams, sweet bread, pasta, eggs, fried chicken, dark coffee, and her incredible pancakes.

When we travel to Patrona´s, we must first pass a small school yard.Once we have successfully navigated the many marble games strewnacross the side walk, we arrive to the sound of crowing roosters, thesight of friendly faces, and the smell of baking tortillas. We pass through the family´s yard, greeting her three daughters and two sons –including Billy, the adorable three year old.

Proceeding into the eating area, a hut-like structure with a breathtaking view of Lake Atitlan, we sit and play Maui (our new favorite card game) or talk for a few minutes. Patrona and herdaughters then bring plates for each person (with special meals forthe two vegetarians), tea, coffee, jelly, tortillas, and variousassortments of sweet bread. In addition to her fabulous food, Patrona has also taught us muchduring our stay. On the 15th, she taught us how to do traditional backstrap weaving, allowing each of us to try the centuries old Mayan art (and way of making cloth for weainng and working). She also taught us how to make tortillas, a staple of the local diet.

We have grown to love our time spent at Patrona´s and it is one of the things we will miss the most when we leave. We have all gotten to know her and her family well and have become attached to both the family and fabulous jams.

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