I have lived and worked 13 years in Guatemala in places such as Rio Dulce, Antigua, Cuidad Vieja, Lanquin, El Remate and lastly Lake Atitlan. The Lake had been my home and business for the last 8 years and had been the most memorable, educational, profitable and spiritual part of all my 56 years. Through the good and bad it will always remain a special part of rounding my life and with good fortune and friends such as the author of HoboTraveler, Andy, I will return someday with a few extra lessons of life under my belt.
My experiences in the restaurant business, Little Italy being the first restaurant I started in San Pedro La Laguna, Lake Atitlan, Solola, Guatemala, in 2004 have developed my acumen in the tourism sector in guatemala.
My second restaurant business, The Burrito Factory was a take off from "Little Italy" restaurant and had actually started out as "The Cove Restaurant" and did very well until the econmy crisis of 2007.
To survive the 2007 economy crisis I reduced my menu and inventory and renamed the place "The Burrito Factory" maintianing a simple menu of Tex Mex styled foods. The strategy worked and I managed to keep the business going where other restaurants were failing.
Of the many villages on the lake, San Pedro is one of the cheapest for hotel rentals and attracts the sector of tourism of young people "backpackers" on a budget, which makes the tourism market for hotels and restaurants very competitive and a low-profit, unless of course your business sells liquor, which has a high profit margin no matter where you go in the world.
It is mistaken known as a "hippy town" which in fact is noticed not because of the foreign community that lives there but the percentage of backpackers who visit there for its atmosphere of partying and drugs. Many of them being young and expressing themselves in the styles of dread locks, sandels, worn out clothes etc. It's no wonder the locals think us foreigners as being dirty as been stated to me so many a time by my neighbors and employees. Hey to each his own, I say. I even grew my hair long for lack of a good barber and being tired of cutting it myself in the shower.
All in all it is a place for someone who wants to visit the local culture of the Tzu' Tu Jil Mayans and experience some of the beautiful views the lake has to offer as well as the excellent climate comparable to that of Antigua.
Enjoy your stay and remember it is you, by your conduct, that leaves a footprint on the societies you visit.
In a special note I would like to thank Andy for all his help and support during my difficulties. Hang in there Andy and once I get back on my feet and find an investor I will be making your favorite burrito once again, hopefully in Panajachel.
Keep up the good work Andy, The Hobo traveler is one of the best and most informative sites on the web
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