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QM Casa Oriente – Events & Weddings (video)

Posted in QM Events & Weddings by quintamacondalive on August 21, 2007

CASA ORIENTE – Restoration, Architectural Design & Interiors – John Heaton

Aside from arranging tailor made journeys and all sorts of fun stuff for our guests, we have come to organize wonderful events. The master of ceremonies and coordinator extraordinaire of these happenings is, as per Richard Story ( Editor in chief of Departures): ” …the brilliant! and charming,Catherine Docter”. Catherine, with her customary grace and flowing talent makes all her clients, soon to become friends, feel at ease. More so, she makes the idea of having a wedding in Antigua, fun and exotic, and sets the highest standards of taste and service to the show. Catherine has the exclusive use of Antigua’s most coveted venue, Casa Oriente, the priest house once part of the 18th century Capuchin convent, that has been wonderfully restored and is among Antigua’s most exclusive private historic properties. Casa Oriente is used to stage lovely lunches and dinners and for smaller parties (60-70 guests or so) can host the wedding ceremony itself. For larger congregations and for drama Catherine has the use of some of Antigua’s stunning barroque churches. Her elegant touch will create a unique romantic and magical atmosphere for those seeking an unforgettable marriage ritual.

A Taste of Casa Oriente:

For information or booking please contact: cdocter@mesoamericanconsulting.com

Window on the Highland Maya (video)

Posted in Guatemala Culture by quintamacondalive on August 20, 2007

The following is video footage taken in the highlands during a 2 day trip. The shrine is by the cemetary of Nahuala and the indigenous gathering is during All Saints day.

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Heli-Safari – Guatemala (video)

Posted in QM Helicopter Safar'is by quintamacondalive on August 20, 2007

The ultimate way to get to know the “unknown” Guatemala and the byways of the authentic. Come fly with us!

State of the art helicopters and experienced pilots: http://www.quintamaconda.com “the” portal to the Private & Authentic Guatemala

Information and booking: Info@quintamaconda.com

The conservation of cultural diversity – a priority today!

Posted in Cultural awareness by quintamacondalive on August 20, 2007

Sustainable Tourism,Culture and Progress


Having enjoyed the great privilege of experiencing the diverse expressions of the traditional cultures of Guatemala and Mexico for the last 30 years, it is devastating to have to observe its erosion and the poverty of progress in the region.    
For the first time  in history, as a result of the tsunami of globalization, much of the third world is at risk of loosing the intrinsic beauty and diversity of its traditional cultures, the historic vernacular of its ethnic architecture, its languages, as the mystique of its ancestral religious traditions.

Fast forward is rarely a harmonious melody, nor is the unruly pace of progress. It is unsettling to think, that in the not too distant future we might no longer be able to differentiate the cultural offerings of one nation from another.

Traditions hold the diverse and intrinsic wisdom of the global tribe, its knowledge, its innate education, its resilience and grace. How could it be possible that in just a few decades a nation’s (Guatemala) cultural umbilical cord be severed by corruption, incompetence and the mediocre proposals of progress. That, is the road to poverty. 

A priority today, should be to sustain the integrity of the worlds diverse cultures, admire their uniqueness, reinforce their being, and applaud their survival.

When thinking sustainable tourism, subsidizing the survival of cultural diversity is far more urgent today than subsidizing wars and stimulating animosity.  If indeed sustainable tourism is to be an option to better the lifestyle and economy of developing nations, the preservation of their cultural and natural diversity is paramount to the success of that endeavor. Furthermore, there will be a far greater chance for success if and when the respect and preservation of a country’s  endemic culture and biodiversity is embraced as an inherent part of
its progress.

John Heaton – Antigua, Guatemala, June,2007

Thar Desert, Rajasthan – Cobra Dance (video)

Posted in Adventures beyond by quintamacondalive on August 20, 2007

An encounter with the Rajput gypsies in the Thar desert. This clip is that of a young boy interpreting the Cobra dance…
I travelled for two weeks in the land of the Rajputs Gypsies in remote communities of the Thar desert and was invited to attend the wedding of the bride’s of Taluk’dani, and extraordinary Alibabaesque affair in the desert. ( see future clip.)

Come travel with us:

Bali Trance 2000 – The inauguration of the sacred chariot (video)

Posted in Adventures beyond by quintamacondalive on August 20, 2007

Bali, Sanur – This was an amazing ceremony that honored the restauration of a sacred chariot that had been out of comission for over 60 years.
We were only 4 non Balinese to be invited by the local Raja to attend this happening.

Buena Vista Social Club – New Year’s 2000

Posted in Music Happenings by quintamacondalive on August 20, 2007

A rarefied and unforgettable experience! Ibrahim Ferrer, Teresa Caturla and the gang.

Remembering VOGUE Paris in Guatemala: Prensa Libre 2001

Posted in QM PRESS by quintamacondalive on January 14, 2007

At the end of a one hour talk in the office of Vogue Paris editor in chief Carine Roitfeld, for the first time ever, VOGUE Paris was on its way to leap the Atlantic for a 15 page Fashion & Travel feature in Guatemala. This is the story as reported by Prensa Libre, Guatemala’s leading daily. 

The dark side of this otherwise glamourous venture, is that the Guatemala Tourism Board (INGUAT) failed its obligations by not honoring its written invitation and commitment to VOGUE Paris‘ editor in chief. John Heaton who initiated the project with Carine Roitfeld summoned members of Guatemala’s private sector to join in to help host VOGUE’s Guatemala journey. They did, while Guatemala’s tourist board (INGUAT) played the ostrich! – A bon entendeur salut!

Please click on cover for PDF.