Monday, February 22, 2010

Naciones Unidas National Park

 
Photos in this page by galasdeguatemala.com, used with authorization.
I do hope you enjoyed the weekend and the last posting, which I used as the ending of our journey throughout Guatemala City.
This week I want to share with you, some popular Family Outings from the City, starting today with a visit to the Parque Naciones Unidas (literally: United Nations Park), located in Amatitlan Municipality (equivalent to a County), Department (equivalent to a State) of Guatemala, only 21 kilometers away from Guatemala City.
The Naciones Unidas park is one of the five first areas declared national parks in 1955 and within its 373 hectares contains cultural exhibits as well as open natural spaces, focused in the environmental education of the visitors. The park is under the management of the organization Defensores de la Naturaleza since 1997.
The Naciones Unidas park is literally a green refugee for a city that keeps loosing its green spaces due to the impressive urban development.
The name of the park is due to the original project of the park, which was intended for every country represented in the U.N.O. to build a permanent exhibit depicting nature, culture, and folklore; however, the only country that built the exhibit was Guatemala in the area known today as Plaza Guatemala (Guatemala Square).
In the plaza we can see replicas of important places and landmarks from throughout Guatemala: Tikal, the Majestic Maya Temples from the Classic Period; Zaculeu, the empire protected by Kaibil Balam; Antigua, a travel to the colonial times; Palin, with a huge Ceiba (Guatemala's national tree) as the perfect scenario for family picnics; and the Kiosk, a space designed for marimba and popular music concerts.
In addition to the plaza, the park also contains a system of trails perfect for low impact hiking and birdwatching. Even if you are not a big fan of hiking, I recommend you to take a walk at least through one of these trails to enjoy the breathtaking views to the Amatitlan Lake and to the Agua and Pacaya Volcanoes, the last one, one of the most active volcanoes in Guatemala.
Even though the cultural plaza plays an important role attracting visitors to the park, I would say that the most important role of the park is the protection of the forest in the basin of  the Amatitlan Lake. A few years ago, I went there to plant some trees and I remember that as one remarkably rewarding experience.
 Photos in this page by galasdeguatemala.com, used with authorization.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this beautiful journey, I am, also, from Guate and I live in Orlando, Florida, el parque de La Naciones Unidas en Amatitlan is my "Happy Place", when I am tired or exausted, I close my eyes and think about the place and it makes me fill real good, thank you again.

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