A place of refuge. Santa Cruz is a small pueblo on Lago Atitlan with a population a little less than 6,000. It is up a steep hill, with gorgeous views. The lake shore hosts a number of lovely places to stay.
I have been in Guatemala for two months, and my stay at La Iguana Perdida has given me the safest feel since coming to this country. You know that feel-good bonfire feeling of summer camp? Or a place you used to go as a kid for vacation? Or a best friend's house that feels like home? It's comfortable, there are real people that are being real to you and with themselves. There is room for partying, going to bed early, staying up all night, waking up for the sunrise. One is not better or worse than the other...they are all part of the whole. That was my experience at La Iguana Perdida. And I thank everyone that had a part in it.
Miriam. Sunshine, bed 7. First, I was greeted by smiles and acceptance when I walked up to La Iguana Perdida off the boat...as if I was an old friend getting to know the ropes of a new home.
There is nothing particularly special with this dorm ... it was simple, yet perfect (you can get a bed in a dorm with electric for 35Q a night or without electric for 25Q a night). But I will say that there are studies of the positive psychological effects of nooks. I found my nook. Safe, comfy, immaculately clean and in a little piece of nature.
The main building has a number of perfect places for doing whatever it is you'd like to do. A main dining room/bar/restaurant area (along with Internet)...
...a movie/reading room with fireplace, books, bright walls and gorgeous windows...
a front patio with tables and a coach overlooking the water...a couple of outdoor sitting areas by reception...OK, I enjoyed them all...
even sitting on the stone walls post sunrise.
You can also find the ADI Dive Shop at La Iguana Perdida in the second building. Hammocks, a pool table, chairs for lounging in the sun as your mind drifts with the water, darts, yoga, oh...right, the dive shop! Some of the cheapest diving certification and dives around. By around I mean in the world.
Let's go back to safety though. I am not a napper. I climbed into one of these hammocks about two hours after arriving. I promptly fell asleep. I was still coping from experiences in San Pedro...and found a safe place to process...feel, let go, shake it off, ... and remember how to fall into trust again.
But, it wasn't the location that did that...it was the people. The instant community. Each night, if you choose to participate, there is a community dinner. Huge, healthy, delicious...and together.
On Saturday nights if you are feeling feisty, you can dress a little scandalous as our two lovely staff Ross and Bui did...!Que bonit"a"! Yes, he's wearing drawers. And it's always generally appropriately sassy, as children are running around in various outfits too.
As Mike and Ryan (right) taught Rosio (with draw-on facial hair) and I to play Yahtzee, we INTERACTED!! Community. Talking. Sharing. Laughing.
Rosio, Bui (sorry if I'm misspelling your name!) and I made some new signs for the place. Crafty time! Rosio and I were sporting some black oil pastel mustaches in order to prep for the night activities.
I give a cheers to new friends, to the intention and sharing that the owners put into creating and maintaining this place, and again, to community. Safe community. Gracias. Keep on keeping on...