Retirement; like your parents, but way cooler
In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age
of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this
financially independent lifestyle, they invite you
to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli
Spending weeks and months
at a time in the
Atitlan area, sometimes it's fun to break up the routine and go for a day
outing to an outlying mountain town. About a thirty minute drive from
Panajachel, five of us hired a private driver to take us to Concepcion. The
municipality has nearly 23,000 inhabitants, 98% of whom identify as indigenous
Our dependable driver,
Moises has been one of our
private drivers for years now. He's dependable, focused and knows his way around
the Guatemalan Highlands and the capitol city of Guatemala City. Not only that,
but he has a new and comfortable van, easy to ride around in.
He has taken us to medical
facilities in Guate City when we have needed to go, waits for us and then brings
us back. Today was going to be far more picturesque and relaxing.
The Motley Crew
Billy is in the front seat
next to Moises taking a photo of this Motley Crew. Ian is the Aussie in the
front on the right. I'm behind Ian, Chris from New Orleans is behind me in the
hat, and John, another local from Pana, is next to him on the back seat.
Looks like the motorcyclist
is almost in our van!
It was a beautiful day,
bright and sunny.
Cost for the van for the
day trip? Thirty Quetzales each or about $4USD per person.
According to ancient Maya-Mam
legend, a huge lake used to exist in this depression along the high canyon
walls. Because children were going down to the lake and disappearing, the leader
of the village, the Principal, used his power and formed long sticks or tubes.
Using a piece of cotton on the end of the tubes, he begged the gods to make the
lake water disappear down the tube.
As soon as he finished his
prayer, the cotton ball was completely soaked with the water and then the
Principal placed the tubes facing East, forcing the water to go into the place
that today is known as
After the lake disappeared,
no longer were there missing children in the village.
Coming into Concepcion
Here we are driving into
the town of Concepcion.
previous visit here we were able to participate in the weekly market day,
which was fun and colorful.
What would we find today?
The Catholic Church in
the center of town
Today there are several new
and different styles of Christian Churches in Concepcion. This particular church
is 500 years old, was probably the first Christian church in the area and is
well maintained. It is located up the hill where our driver, Moises, parked our
Ancient wooden interior of the church
Throughout our travels, we have seen many
ancient churches built centuries ago by the Spanish. They are all similar in
style, with the carved wooden ceilings and gold leafed altars and side panels.
It is truly amazing that this wood has stood
the test of time. You cannot see the carving on the ceilings in this photo, but
they are an intricate pattern that is repeated over and over.
Traditional side altar
Here you see a gold leafed
side altar with a multitude of crucifixes on the wall on both sides. It looks
from the photo that the fair-skinned Christs are on the left and the
brown-skinned Christs are on the right.
I don't know the
significance of this, if any, but I imagine that the local Maya wanted a Christ
that looked like them.
Elsewhere in the church
there were Christs, saints and statures of Mary all dressed in traditional Maya
The main altar
The original altar is
recessed into the white washed background of the altar wall. The communion
railing and the tile you see here are new. The tile of the main church is quite
old and you can just feel the historical presence of the Spanish.
You cannot see in this
photo, but a Maya woman was on her knees behind the altar praying in front of
the statues in the golden niches. She had a child with her who was about two or
three years old.
View from the front of
the Church outwards
The steep wall of the
mountains surround Concepcion and this is a familiar panorama throughout the
You can see our van parked
here in the center of the photo.
Concepcion is a clean,
friendly and quiet community.
Items for sale spread
out on the street
We at first thought this
was someone's laundry being dried by the sun. But most Mayans we know place
their clean clothing on a line or on something natural like a bush, the lawn or
over rocks. Having items displayed on a sidewalk was out of character and
different from our experience.
Still, it's possible that
these items are not being offered for sale, since there was no vendor in sight.
Notice that there is no
trash in the streets anywhere.
Hardened mud bricks
Walking around town we
noticed these hand made mud bricks piled in a corner against some tree trunks.
These mud bricks are used to build homes, shelters, storage units and stores
then whitewashed to seal them.
Thinking this was an
upscale hotel, we were curious to enter. It has to be the most modern and
beautiful building in the area of town where we were doing our discovery
Inside we asked some
workers what the purpose of this building was, and we were told that it was the
city's government building. The inside was well maintained and spacious.
However, most of the offices were empty.
In front of the local
It's a gorgeous day and
here we are in front of the oldest church in town.
On the road back
Here you see our way back
towards Lake Atitlan, in the middle right of the photo. You can see the lake
itself and the volcanoes surrounding it. Since we are only about half an hour
away from where we live, this gives you an idea of the location of where we are
in the mountains.
A broader view
Once again, the Lake is in
the center right of the photo, and here is the panoramic view from the road
We had left Panajachel
about 9:30 in the morning, drove to Concepcion, did our walking tour and drove
back. We returned in time to have a cappuccino and some lunch at one of our
favorite hang outs,
What fun! And a great break
from the ordinary.
About the Authors
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and Akaisha continue to journal and photograph their world travels.
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