After winding along the hairpin curves enroute from Guatemala City to Chichicastenango, you might need to stretch your legs or enjoy an extra cup of coffee. Ahead is a brightly-colored sign. Maybe this is a good place to stop. Here in the mountains, the morning air can be chilly. A hot cup of coffee definitely sounds good! As you walk up to the door, the smells of wood smoke and hot corn tortillas beckon to you. Once inside, rustic tables and chairs offer space for many travelers.
If you’ve traveled this way before, perhaps the story is giving it away. Do you know the name of this place?
¡Sí! ¡Muy bien! El Chichoy has welcomed travelers for decades. Nestled right by the road, it is the perfect stop for a meal or just a refreshment.
In the Guatemalan mountains where the Chichoy is located, Guatemala’s indigenous languages – totaling 22 – are still spoken. Although many of the people now also speak Spanish, some words are slightly different or are used differently. These people and their unique use of language were part of the inspiration behind Understanding the Guatemalan Patient. We hope they will be just as clearly understood by those who serve them as their completely bilingual neighbors.