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La Democracia

Population 4,200

From the outskirts, La Democracia appears to have seen better days. However, it has one distinctive edge and that is a number of large, crudely done Olmec-style heads, discovered at a farm on the edge of town. Nearly all of the heads now surround the pleasantly decorated central square under the shade of an enormous ceiba tree. The origin of the heads is still somewhat of a mystery. Some of the sculptures have flattened heads pointing to the skies, their arms encircling extended bellies, while others just show somber faces with bulging eyes. There are still a few heads at the archeological site at Monte Alto but visitors are not encouraged. The heads and potbellies date back to the early pre-classic period.

Facing one corner of the square is the museum with three rooms displaying archeological artifacts from different periods, paintings and jade. The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesdays to Saturdays and costs $4.

For anyone other than the most dedicated of historical aficionados, La Democracia is best treated as a stop-off on the way to somewhere else rather than a destination in itself. The delightful Antojitos Mary, tucked away in the new building opposite the square, has liquados or tasty meals and is a good place for a break. Otherwise you can find an ice-cream shop, a bakery, a fried chicken joint and burger shops all right next to each other. There is an ATM on the square and an internet café. The one guesthouse in town, Paxil y Cayalá is pokey and over-priced at $7 for a room with shared bathroom or $15 for private bathroom.

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Other places nearby La Democracia: Taxisco, Tilapa & Tilapita, Puerto San Jose, Las Lisas, Iztapa, Retalhuleu, Coatepeque, Monterrico, Guatemala's Pacific Coast and El Tulate.







By Kathryn
Independent and optimistic, I believe in following your dreams and have been doing just that, traveling the world for the last 9 years. British by...
06 Jul 2010

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