I am Frank Gerhard
56 years old German, married with daughter and thrilled and crazy about GUATEMALA.
In my free time I do sports (jogging, ice skating, cycling), listening to music (from Austropop, Hard Rock and classical music to Norteños and Rancheros). Besides, I have always been a bookworm. Especially the Latin American authors and everything connected to Central America is interesting to me. I am also working on my foreign languages (English, Spanish and Maya-Kaqchikel).
What qualifies me, to write about Guatemala?
1.I have been 17 times to Latin America, 15 times to Guatemala.
2.I have spent a total of over 3 years in Guatemala.
3.My wife is Guatemalan..
4.I speak Spanish fluently.
5.I regularly read the “Prensa libre” newspaper and occasionally “El Quetzalteco”, “Siglo Ventiuno”, “El Periodico” and La Revue (the english speaking magazine for tourists in Guatemala).
Even if I remain German, in my heart I feel I am almost Guatemalan.
It’s also because of my family, even though the country turned my minde upside down, before I met my (now) wife. It is also the wonderful climate (mild temperatures, sunshine). It is also because of the (mostly) warm and friendly people and the foreign culture. But it is much more …
November 1998, an almost “spiritual experience”!
After a long flight and delays when changing airplanes in Madrid and Miami, I arrived at 2 am at Aurora Airport in Guate (Guatemala City). In the middle of the night and tired, I had no choice but to take a taxi to a relatively expensive hotel in zone 9. For $ 50 I slept until about 7 clock and then let me bring breakfast to the room.
This morning, I looked from the balcony at the city and felt very bad. I was still tired, the noise of the traffic rang to the first floor. I inhaled the polluted air of the capital city, saw the dirt lying on the road and saw from a distance a part of the shabby shacks of the slums. Why had I come back to this country, with its poverty and misery? Why am I sitting in this hotel, in this filthy Guate?
Then the sun came out and suddenly my mood turned! A tremendous euphoria rose in me and I felt like in a state of ecstasy. I knew for a moment that I belonged to Guatemala and would come back and stay forever one day!
That’s all. I am in love with the country and I love and accept both sides of it. The beautiful side, and the hell that Guatemala is definitely.