Antigua was a wonderful place to spend 5 weeks going to language school. We learned a lot of spanish, made some good friends with whom we shared a house and got to know this colonial city.
The culture of this small city is interesting. On one hand you have traditionally dressed Mayan women carring large baskets on their heads and on the other she is talking on her cell phone. The markets are large, crowded and full of produce and traditional foods but you can also buy plastic toys and modern electronics. There are throngs of tourists at spanish schools through out the city but many of the local Mayan people speak one of over 20 Mayan languages and can’t afford to learn the official language in their own country.
The clean, cobblestone streets, window boxes full of flowers and brightly colored facades make this a beautiful city to wander around. But it is definitely the local culture, including Guatemalans, expats, international tourists, and the many aid workers that make this city vibrant and worth exploring.