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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.

The Boda... A Traditional Mayan Wedding

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

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Through the years of living in Panajachel, Guatemala we have become close to the Mayan family who owns the hotel where we stay. We have shared the classic American Thanksgiving dinner with them (which of course, the Maya don't celebrate) as well as Christmas Dinners and family birthdays.

So it was a special honor when they invited us to their eldest son's wedding.

Cakes, cakes and more cakes

The Morelos family lives behind the hotel in a large, brand new home just recently built. In between the hotel and the family's home is a large, open-air paved area used for parking and parties. Today it was the location of Edwin and Yoselin's wedding.

Cakes are lined up, ready to be eaten!

It seems to be a Mayan custom to eat the dessert before the full dinner. The many times we have shared meals with the Morelos family, we have eaten our cake before our dinner!

The Morelos Family - Michelle, Martin Jr., Martin Senior, Veronica, Ana and Edwin

Martin and Ana have six children, three boys, three girls. We are missing two of the children here as there were 300 guests and each child had their own responsibilities to perform for this occasion. I was lucky to get them together for this photo!

 

Angelica was missing from the above photo

Angelica is the middle daughter and is going to school to become a civil engineer. Her sister, Veronica (pictured in the previous phot0), was the first one in their family to graduate from college with a degree in business.

Henri is in the center, as the ring bearer

At 11 years of age, Henri is the Morelos' youngest child and he is thrilled to be the ring bearer for this ceremony. Everyone in attendance is either a family connection or a close friend.

The flower girl is a cousin of the Morelos family and both of these children hold the responsibility of their positions with great pride.

The flower girl, Yoselin the bride, and Henri, the ring bearer

The Bride arrived and of course cameras and cell phones were capturing her every move.

Yoselin is dressed in tipica, the classic Maya woven and beaded garb that is prevalent everywhere here in Maya Country.

A close up of Yoselin in her white finery

These Mayan ladies are stunningly gorgeous with their high coloring of dark eyes and hair, beautiful white teeth and flawless skin. Her blouse, called a huipile (pronounced HWEE-peel) is hand embroidered and generally take a month or more to make. Her skirt is a woven wrap around cloth, and her belt is also hand embroidered and beaded.

The entranceway to the wedding area

This is the entrance from the street to the back area perfect for large gatherings.

With "Here come the Bride" playing on the sound system, the entourage made its way to the main event. The green you see on the pathway is pine needles, commonly used here in Guatemala for ceremonial purposes.

Yoselin with her father on one side, and her mother on the other

Henri and the flower girl lead the way into the room filled with relatives and friends.

Edwin and Yoselin

Looking quite serious, Edwin, the Husband-to-be, was ready to get on with the ceremony.

Martin and Ana, Edwin and Yoselin, and the Father and Mother of the Bride

 

Before the wedding vows and ceremony, both Families are ready and are seated at the main table.

Alcalde de Pana - the Mayor of Panajachel

We have seen the Mayor at several of the important occasions and ceremonies at the Morelos household. He often speaks about the importance of Maya tradition, and how the Mayans attending the celebrated occasion should hold their heads up high for having the Maya Lineage.

It was the Mayor who officiated the ceremony and spoke to both the bride and groom, informing them of the best practices each should focus on to strengthen their marriage in the Maya tradition.

He spoke in both Kaqchikel which is the native Mayan language of this area of the lake, and also in Spanish, switching back and forth.

A family event!

The Maya tend to live very conventional lives, with the roles spelled out clearly. Children are cherished and expected in a marriage, and often, families are large.

So for this event, kids were everywhere, and these Mayan children are the essence of innocence.

Fascination with a balloon

Here you see the tipica of the Maya worn by young girls since they begin to walk; the embroidered huipile, and the wrap around skirt of woven cloth.

The wedding started at 10:30 AM and shut down at 10:00 PM. A good time was had by all.

We want to wish the Newlyweds, Edwin and Yoselin a fantastic future together and prosperous life.
 

About the Authors

 
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance, medical tourism and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their award winning website RetireEarlyLifestyle.com, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurerís Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible available on their website bookstore or on Amazon.com.

Billy and Akaisha continue to journal and photograph their world travels.

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