Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Costa Rica

Costa Rica, originally uploaded by gerardlopez2001.

Our photos from our trip to Costa Rica are now online...Click the picture above to be sent to our flickr site...

Trying to get a video or two online also, as well as some more pictures that didn't upload properly.

We will be in the U.S. for about a month starting this weekend.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Semana Santa en Palatalik

Semana Santa en Palatalik, originally uploaded by gerardlopez2001.

The kids and I have just returned from Lake Atitlan in Central Guatemala. I've put up some pictures in a rush, but haven't put the finishing touches on everything yet...more to come.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Gringo en Machu Picchu

Gringo en Machu Picchu, originally uploaded by gerardlopez2001.

It´s 1,751 steps from river in the valley below to the front gate of Machu Picchu...´cause I thought you needed to know...

More later.

p.s. my wife rocks.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Max's Lost his First Tooth and Zoe's First Day of Pre-School

Zoe First Day of School.

Busy week this last week. Max, as you can see, lost his first tooth and Zoe went to pre-school for the first time. I'll add to this post in this weekend with more pictures.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Polkadot Bikini

Polkadot Bikini, originally uploaded by gerardlopez2001.

About to add the last set of pictures from the holidays. Here's a little something in the meantime. Zoe loooooves her bikini, and threw several fits when we tried to get her to put on something a little less racy (and more UV resistant, the girl has sensitive skin...)

As always, if you want to see more pictures just click the picture above and you will be sent to the rest of our photos on


Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas from Roatan!

Roatan  Sunset 1

Roatan Sunset 1, originally uploaded by gerardlopez2001.

We're celebrating Christmas and New Year's from Roatan, Honduras this year.

We've made it to the island and have discovered that our rented house is about 20 meters from a dolphin sanctuary. Free dolphin shows all day! Snorkeling from our pier and lovely sunsets. Great company too... (as well as free high speed internet!)

I'll try to post a couple of pictures during quiet moments at night...but if there are few of those, let us say Merry Christmas to everyone now!

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Zoe and Santa, originally uploaded by gerardlopez2001.

Getting ready to go away for the holidays...

This year on the beautiful beaches of Roatan, Honduras.

Added a few pictures to tie up lose ends, including:

Trip to visit Santa at the US Embassy Christmas Party

Pony Rides and parades (with Santa natch) in downtown Guatemala City at Pasos y Pedales

Fireworks, Christmas cookies and CDC issued Personal Protection Equipment

Kim's nighttime birthday carriage ride in Antigua

Our view from our balcony

Max's first organized sporting event


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Semuc Champey

IMG_1241, originally uploaded by gerardlopez2001.

Some more pictures from Thanksgiving in Semuc Champey courtsey of our friends Jen & Jim and Courtney & Al.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Thanksgiving 2007

Zoe y Max, originally uploaded by gerardlopez2001.

We spent Thanksgiving this year with our friends Allen & Courtney & Wiley and Jen & Jim & Emma & Abbie. We went out to a beautiful spot called Semuc Champey, which many of you have heard of us talk about before. We stayed in a small town called Lanquin about 40 minutes away from Semuc.

Max Transformers

Max Transformers, originally uploaded by gerardlopez2001.

Trying to get caught up with photos before the Holidays start. So to start things off here is a drawing from Max.

He is just at the beginnings of reading, but he has the idea....and he has figured out that Spanish is a lot easier to spell in than English! This is, of course, his interpretation of the Transformers.

Otherwise things are great. Zoe is at a very wonderful stage now and Max is enjoying school. Kim and I are busy with work, but otherwise good.

More pictures soon from Thanksgiving soon.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Zoe's Latest Words

All right...I know I haven't put anything up lately...I keep trying to put up some pictures and my slow internet connection keeps choking on them...very frustrating.

Anyway, thing here are fine. Zoe's birthday was last weekend. She is old enough now to understand the concept of presents, much to her delight.

Her latest words are "house" and "no". She says "no" in exactly the same way as her buddy Leyla, which is pretty darn cute.

Max is doing well with Kindergarten. His school is really close by and he has a very good friend/schoolmate that is a close neighbor also and is teaching him to swear like a sailor in Spanish. Kinda hard to police when he actually knows more cuss words than I do...

Kim and I are both working a lot, but things are going well.

And finally, the seemingly interminable rainy season seems to be finally winding down. I don't feel like I am very susceptible to weather induced depression...but 5 months of nearly daily rain is just about my limit.

I'm trying to get some pictures up, but it may need to wait until I can get someone from the phone company to come out to look at our phone wiring...

Zoe Blanca

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Huracán Felix

Huracán Felix

Or should I say “Depresión Tropical Felix”?

It looks like we will be hit by Felix here in the Guatemala, and it even looks like the storm will pass directly over the capital. However, by the time it gets here it will be considerably weaker in terms of wind speed. If there are any problems in
Guatemala they will be related to flooding and mudslides, rather than wind.

We don’t expect any problems here in the capital, but if something happens, I will post on this blog as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, things here are going well. Max has started Kindergarten. Zoe’s vocabulary is rapidly growing. Kim and I are both extremely busy with our new jobs. Our new apartment is turning out to have been a really good decision. In short, things are good.

I have just finished a big project with work and have a little more free time, so I will try and get some pictures, videos, etc. online soon.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Earthquake in Guatemala

We are fine. Not sure why this made such a splash in US news. In fact, I didn't notice the earthquake because I was driving. As of yet there are no reports of major damage or deaths. Hopefully that holds up over the next few days because communication is down with some of the south of the country (the part closest to the center of the earthquake).

I didn't notice the earthquake, but Max sure did. He thought that the wind was blowing really really hard and was going to knock the house over. (There was a really big storm at the same time as the earthquake). Apparently, lots of things were banging in the house and the TV was sliding on its stand, but nothing fell and nothing broke.

Here are some of the details of the quake if you are interested: (and on a more exciting note, Zoe learned a new word today: "Bum")


miercoles, 13 de junio 2007 a las 19:29:46 UTC

Preliminary Earthquake Report




· miercoles, 13 de junio 2007 a las 19:29:46 (UTC) - Tiempo Universal Coordinado

· miercoles, 13 de junio 2007 a las 02:29:46 PM hora local al epicentro
Hora del Terremoto en otras zonas de horario


13.63N 90.73W


64.8 kilómetros




115 km (70 miles) SSW of GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala
135 km (85 miles) WSW of Santa Ana, El Salvador
155 km (95 miles) SSE of Quezaltenango, Guatemala
1110 km (690 miles) SE of MEXICO CITY, D.F., Mexico

Calidad de la Localización

Estimado de error: horizontal +/- 5.7 km; depth +/- 5.5 km

Parámetros de calidad
de localización

Nst=164, Nph=164, Dmin=774.5 km, Rmss=0.93 seg, Erho=5.7 km, Erzz=5.5 km, Gp=134.9 grados

Fuente de información


Event ID


Wednesday, June 13, 2007 at 19:29:46 UTC

Earthquake Location

Saturday, June 09, 2007

The Lopez Family in Guatemala

My Dad, Mary Loy, Toni and my Grandma visited us in Guatemala a couple of weeks ago. Here are some pictures from their trip: Lopez Trip Fotos


Monday, April 09, 2007

Last Year's Semana Santa Videos

Kim's dad was here last year for Semana Santa and made some really great videos that can give you an idea of the spectacle that is Semana Santa in Guatemala. I will try and get our considerably less professional videos from this year up soon. In the meantime:

Here is a video from Antigua:

Here is a video from Santiago Atitlan:

For more of Tom's videos please see his website:

Semana Santa in Antigua

Baskets at night.
Originally uploaded by gerardlopez2001.
Kim's mother and sister were in town this week for Semana Santa (Holy Week). We have a ton of pictures up on our site ( the Semana Santa 2007 set. I will try and put up a few more posts this week describing some of the pictures....and I have a backlog of other stuff I want to put up. Fortunately I have finished a major project recently and will hopefully have more time in the next few weeks before the next project really gets going.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Kim and los jefes de salud

Kim and Oncho
Originally uploaded by gerardlopez2001.
Dr. Julie Gerberding, the director of the CDC, and Michael O. Leavitt, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, visited Guatemala last week. Kim had a chance to talk to them during their visit. The picture is of Kim presenting her work on onchocerciasis (river blindness...or Oncho, if you can't pronounce the full name like me...). Dr. Gerberding is the woman with white hair that is obscured and Sec. Leavitt is the man in the suit. She also ended up touring Antigua with them. You can see more picture s of their visit at this link:

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Long time.....

Originally uploaded by gerardlopez2001.
I haven't written or posted anything in a long time...

So I'm trying to get a lot of stuff up at once here....

To whet your appetite here is a book that Max recently made for his school. Click on the link and then follow the rest of the pages in the set.

Be back soon with more pictures and news from the family.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas 2006

Man, do Guatemalans love them some fireworks.

Starting around 8 pm yesterday until about 1 AM Guatemala City was full of fireworks. They peak at around midnight. They are not professional fireworks…more people powered…There are literally tens of thousands of people in the streets with their own private stashes. It was unreal. One of our neighbors laid out a string of Chinese firecrackers about 40 yards long. There was so much smoke that we could barely see.

We had a funny start to our day. Max woke up and came into our bed at 7 am shouting "Merry Christmas"...but...he crawled in with me and went to sleep for another hour.
Kim finally got Zoe up around 8 and brought her into bed with us....and she starting whacking Max in the bottom and laughing and laughing trying to get him to wake up.
wake up!

The kids had a great time opening presents. Zoe seemed to grasp the concept pretty well. She ooohed and aaahed whenever it was her turn to open a present. Thanks to everyone that sent presents, they were much appreciated.

Kim did a fantastic job with the turkey and dinner. She had to wrestle someone in the store for the last butterball in all of Guatemala, but it was worth it. As we were finishing up dinner, around 6, there was a whole second round of fireworks for reasons we don’t fully understand yet. And this is the costume your brother will insist on wearing for the next 23 days.It’s the second holiday during with fireworks were set off at exactly 6 pm…kind of weird (the other is the 7th of December burning the devil festival…)We finished up the night ice cream and apple pie and the movie A Christmas Story.Turtle toy

Gotta go…I have to work tomorrow….Merry Christmas all!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

This week in Guate

Bumper Cars
Originally uploaded by gerardlopez2001.
Not much to report really...getting ready for Christmas. Going to Christmas parties, and, of course, going to the zoo to ride on bumper cars.

I'm just going to put up a couple of pictures and leave it at that for now...

Power Ranger Max
Originally uploaded by gerardlopez2001.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

What a difference a week makes...

Just another quick post as I am working. Here is an update on Zoe's progress with walking:

Friday, December 08, 2006

El Diablo de Antigua

El Diablo de Antigua
Originally uploaded by gerardlopez2001.
¡Feliz Siete de Diciembre!

Hope you enjoyed burning the Devil today!

I'll add a bit more tomorrow, but I've got a project to finish for work right now...

In the meantime here is Max singing at his last day at his preschool:

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Zoe's 7-12th steps

Getting the hang of this Youtube thing...kind of...I keep getting the ends clipped off of the videos...

Here is Zoe actually walking...we can't count them as her first steps, but close. Earlier in the evening Kim saw her walk all the way across her bedroom.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Zoe in Rio Dulce

Just trying out putting up videos on Youtube. We went to Rio Dulce and Livingston this weekend for Thanksgiving. Zoe is just on the verge of walking. Here is a short video of the hotel lobby where we stayed:

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Rio Dulce/Livingston

Originally uploaded by gerardlopez2001.
We were in Rio Dulce and Livingston for Thanksgiving this year (which is on the Caribbean Ocean side of Guatemala).

Once again don't have a lot of time to post photos or write much, but I thought this painting on the side of some guy's house in Livingston was too interesting not to post.

More later...

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Max in the sun

Max in the sun
Originally uploaded by gerardlopez2001.
Just another quick one, because I have a lot of work to do if I am going to join the family in Rio Dulce for Thanksgiving weekend. Really like this shot. Kim took it with her new camera.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Family Photos

Family Photo1
Originally uploaded by gerardlopez2001.
We had a great time with Kim's birthday this weekend. We had a whole bunch of pictures taken in Antigua...I'm going to post some of them this week, but here are a few from the first glance...

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Sopresa de boliches

Sopresa de boliches
Originally uploaded by gerardlopez2001.
It was Kim's birthday this weekend. We had a little surprise party at a local bowling alley, followed by a second party at our home. No better way to celebrate 40 than a little rock'n'bowl followed by a candle -lit catered cocktail party.

Clown faced Zoe
Clown faced Zoe
Originally uploaded by gerardlopez2001.

We followed up with a weekend in Antigua and a photo shot with a professional photographer...we'll see later this week how the picutres turned out...

Gotta get to work, but here are a couple of pictures from the weekend.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Todos Santos and more

Max and Gerard, Todos Santos
Originally uploaded by gerardlopez.
Just a short post here since I am running off for work and errands. I just wanted to post a link to all of the pictures I have put up recently on my site. Which is, by the way, .

Most of these new pictures are from Todos Santos (All Saints' Day) which is November 1st. There is a region in Guatemala that is famous for having these huge kites fly on that day. Everyone goes down to the town cemetery, cleans up and decorates graves of family members, and, for reasons I do not fully understand, flies kites. Some of the kites are normal sized, some 10-30 feet tall and some are purely decorative and incredibly a couple of stories tall kind of huge.

Also included are some pictures from around the house and from Guy Fawkes Day celebration we went to with some British friends. Most of those pictures are in the "This Week in Guatemala" section.

Zoe and Max, Sharing
Originally uploaded by gerardlopez.

Gotta get going back to work.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Brote Misterioso de Panama

Kim went to Panama last week to help investigate an outbreak of a mysterious disease with the CDC. Here is an article in the New York Times about it:

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Gerard Lopez - Wine expert

Gerard - Wine expert
Get a cocktail, two glasses of champagne, two glasses of wine and a dessert liquor in me and this is apparently what I look like....

Probably for the best that it doesn't happen very often...actually has never really happened before. Fortunately there was no picture of what I looked like at four am that night...

I went to Vegas with my buddy Jake from here in Guate and a load of his friends (and brother). Trip was courtesy of my loving wife (who ended up, quite unfairly, having to deal with a car accident and several vomiting children.)

And no....I didn't win.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Pacaya en la noche

Well we are finally back in Guatemala. Travel back home was fairly uneventful. We had one short delay and we missed one flight....Actually just Max, Zoe and I missed the flight. The travel agent had the kids and I flying on a separate flight from Kim on one of our legs. Fortunately no harm done as there was room on Kim's flight.


Our house was intact, and with the exception of an overly filthy fish tank and some mold in some of the closets, in perfect order. Good to be home. Max was excited to see his fish (after we cleaned the tank were finally able to see them that is) and get reacquainted with his toys. Zoe is doing pretty well, but is a little fussier than usual, probably adjusting to being home again...

We have managed our first outing already on Tuesday night.

Volcan Pacaya is about 20 miles south of the capital and has been slowly erupting for the last couple of weeks while we were gone. Slow motion rivers of lava have been rolling out drawing huge crowds during the day and night.


We went up last night with some friends to see the fireworks. After several hours of rush hour traffic, wrong turns, rumors and miscommunications we finally arrived at the parking lot for the trail at about 8:30, well after dark. It was a mild hike through a well maintained path...well maintained until it was overrun by a huge river of recently cooled lava. Unfortunately we missed the main part of this current eruption and had to climb a bit over the recent lava to get to where some fresh lava was flowing out.


Climbing on recently cooled lava is pretty cool. It's unstable and shifts when you step on it. It's also still pretty hot. There were parts that I passed where I would look back to the spot where I had just walked and see a glow through a crack and realize I had been walking just over a red hot patch with a cool crust above it. At one point I put my tripod down to take some pictures and when I was packing it up I burned myself on it; some of the rubber on the feet had melted and the metal of the legs was burning hot to the touch. You get the feeling as you walk on it that it's actually hollow and fragile, so it's hard to shake the feeling that you're going to drop you through to the really hot stuff down below. It's also very sharp and irregular, making for difficult climbing because you can't use your hands to balance yourself without getting them cut up.

I was able to get within about 10 yards of a good sized patch of lava. Close enough that I could feel the heat on my face and the air shimmered a little bit. All in all a really good time. Didn't get back home until 1:30, but it was worth it...

Vacas en la niebla

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Madonna de los flores

Madona de los flores
Originally uploaded by gerardlopez2001.
We bought this last week with my first paycheck.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Semana Santa

Originally uploaded by gerardlopez2001.
Please click the picture above to see a ton of pictures from Semana Santa.

I started a new job recently (finally) and haven't had a lot of time to update things lately. I'll try and get more text up and some general news over this weekend.

In the meantime, check out pictures in the Semana Santa Set on my flickr page.

Monday, April 03, 2006


Spidermax 1
Originally uploaded by gerardlopez2001.

My sister got my son, Max, a Spiderman costume for his birthday. As soon as he got the thing on he wanted me to take his picture. When I got the camera out he immediately started posing in classic Spidey action poses.

He's probably seen only 5 minutes of Spiderman from the movies (just the "swing around the city" scenes really...he's a little young for the violent scenes...he get's scared of Doc Oc and I'm sure the Goblin would give him nightmares). Despite his limited exposure, he managed some pretty good poses, all, I might add, without any prompting from his parents.

More news later this week... Including some news on the job front for me...

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Max's Birthday (longer)

So it was Max's 4th birthday this last weekend.

We had a big piñata for him at Fun House. A Piñata in Guatemala is what we call the birthday party itself. Fun House is one of many children's party venues in the city. It's a pretty good idea actually.
They have indoor (and some outdoor) play areas where the kids can run around. They have a menu of things that you an choose from like bounce houses, clowns, magicians, piñatas, lunches, etc. etc. and your own personal party MC that moves things along and takes care of problems.

Imagine if Chuck E. Cheese just focused on only doing kid's parties and the whole restaurant was booked just for your party. Probably the easiest big party we will ever have...

It looks like some generic banquet hall or something from the picture above, but it was pretty cool. I have to say that I actually had a good time, something I can't honestly say that about any other kid's party I've been to.

Before I forget...just a quick story about Max that I've been meaning to tell. I drive him to school every morning. Although it is a short drive, there is often a lot of traffic. We sit and traffic and listen to my iPod, trying out different music. I'll put something new on and ask him if he likes it. If he does, I'll find some more music similar to it.

One day we were listening to something, I can't remember what, and I asked him after a minute or so if he liked it. He said, in all seriousness, "it's ok...but, Dad, can we listen to Zeppelin."

I shed a proud fatherly tear.

His current favorites: White Stripes, Led Zeppelin, Mule, Eisley, Black Eyed Peas, and, of course, the rock classic WeeSing: Nursery Rhymes and Lullabies. We're (and by "We" I mean just me really) working hard to push against the toddler's tendency to listen to the same damn CD over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.

A general update on our prospects here in Guate. We are here until at least November of this year...for certain. After that we are not 100% sure, but it seems more and more likely that we will be able to stay here until the Summer of 2008. More as it develops.