Recently I traveled to Antigua, Guatemala, for the first time. Although I want to travel all around the world, Guatemala was never on my radar. But it was a “God thing.” I’m writing a Guatemala blog series to show you the beautiful pictures and to share about the amazing things God did there. This is Blog #8, Kim’s beautiful condo home. You can read my other blogs in this Guatemala Blog Series at the end of this post.
Once in awhile, someone comes across your path who powerfully impacts you. Last year, I befriended one such person on Facebook —Kim Rogers. Kim has an incredible story, which is included in the Epilogue of my book for sale on Amazon, Signs of God’s Love: Finding Hope in the Midst Of Crisis
Known locally as the “Ambassador to Antigua,” Kim has influenced more than 60 people to visit the city, leveraging tourism to share her vision of creating economic and educational opportunities for the people of Guatemala.
Kim is founder and owner of the not-for-profit organization, Heart for Guatemala, which helps to provide disadvantaged children with food, education, and school supplies.
You can donate to Heart for Guatemala here, buy Guatemalan specialty coffee here to help local women who produce it (it is great coffee and comes in a cute, colorful bag!), or take vision trips here to see this beautiful land yourself, “The Land of Eternal Spring.” I traveled there from November 2-10, 2020, the first time I’d ever been there and I hope to go again soon.
Toward the end of my week in Antigua as I was preparing to go home to the USA, Kim and her boyfriend Stan Edwards urged me to stay longer. Kim said a week wasn’t nearly long enough to see and experience Guatemala. She wanted to show me around more. I had booked my beautiful Air BnB only until Sunday that week, and my money was running out!
She and Stan generously invited me to stay at Kim’s beautiful condo home in Jocotenango free, and Stan said no worries, they’d even feed me! (And Stan is an amazing cook!) After praying about it and sensing this is what God wanted me to do, I agreed, packed up my bags, and my driver Allan took me to their lovely house.
It was the right decision, and I am so glad that I stayed! Just one of the unexpected things God did through me while I was there was helping to feed the hungry people at Parque Central with Mario’s Project–what an honor!
I love Kim’s and Stan’s place. This blog post with pics gives you a virtual tour. Enjoy!
Kim had visited Guatemala numerous times, when on her last visit there, she spontaneously decided to buy a house there! With the proceeds of her house in America that she sold, Kim bought a beautiful condo home in Jocotenango, that is about 20 minutes from Antigua where I stayed at an Air BnB. Kim said most of the rental houses and homes for sale come furnished there in Guatemala. Hers did, too. This amazed me. She found the home with the help of her friend Jorge Urratia, who works for the real estate agency, JorgesList.
Her home has a lot of light and terra cotta stone tile, both which I love. Kim has changed a few things since I visited them and bought more furniture, like her desk (which she will use to write her books, hint hint! LOL!). Here is her living room, with lights at Christmas time–so pretty and inviting!
These colorful birds on top of the kitchen cabinets are popular in Guatemala. Kim had two already and wanted a third one when I visited her. She bartered with a woman at the local artisan market. I think they look so cute!
I admired so many things about Kim’s home, like the pottery and dishes she had displayed on shelves in her kitchen. Stan had put salt in a little, plain, clay bowl, but I thought it looked so cute.
I also greatly admired Kim’s purple, colorful fabric placemats with matching napkins. She laughed and gave them to me as a gift to take home. I was so happy about this! Guatemalans make beautiful clothing and other items in bright colors. The native dress of the Mayans there, which is called traje, varies by village and language group (22 Mayan groups).
The intent of the way they dress is to preserve their rich culture history. The purple placemats with the other vivid colors is a sample of what you might find for sale in the local markets, along with quality-made, colorful clothing. (Be sure to barter or to have someone barter for you to not get “gringo” (foreigner) prices!)
Many of the homes in Guatemala, especially among the poorer people, don’t have washers and dryers–especially dryers. You see the women hang-drying the clothes on lines outside their homes. Some women have to come to the park to wash their clothes in the public wash.
Kim and Stan are blessed to have a home with a compact washer and dryer as seen below, a nice fridge and gas stove, and a double sink in the kitchen. I forgot to ask if they had a trash disposal or dishwasher. Those probably would be considered luxuries in Guatemala.
When I visited, Stan was using the kitchen bar to work on his laptop. The bar came with the wine glass rack and wine glasses, which I thought was so pretty. Stan has now moved his office upstairs to the guest bedroom. When she told me this, I teased Kim, “Does that mean I can’t come visit you any more?”
Kim bought a desk and chair to put in the living room to work on her laptop and moved the pretty Eco water filter by the back door. These filters were made just for Guatemala to purify the water. It is safe to drink the water out of them. She also bought a big white board and hung it above the filter. Her kitchen is painted a cheery yellow.
One of the surprising things I found out in Guatemala is that they do not refrigerate the meats in the markets or eggs in the markets and stores. I wondered how people don’t get sick from this. Kim bought this cute, funny egg holder for her kitchen counter top. But Stan insisted she still put the eggs in the fridge!
Kim bought a lot of beautiful, colorful pictures by local artists for her house. One was of a volcano. She still hadn’t hung it up when I was there, because she had just gotten back from the states. Recently she posted a pic of it on Facebook. Love it and her other pics!
I loved Kim’s stand that she bought for holding fresh veggies & fruits. While Kim said the prices were a little high, there is a fresh produce market right around the corner from their house, which is very convenient. There is a pretty flower garden by it.
Kim added Christmas decor and lights to it, and red ornaments to her chandelier, which was creative and so pretty. I love the chandelier hanging above her dining table, which uses real candles. Kim is a little wary of it, so she made sure it held new, full candles in it before lighting them, to avoid a fire (I was a little nervous about it, too!) But it looks so beautiful lit at night.
A common center piece decoration in Guatemala is fake fruits and vegetables. I think it’s pretty. Kim’s friends visited one day while I was there, and their toddler daughter wanted the grapes to eat. 🙂 I had just bought some real grapes at the local produce stand, and offered some to her and her parents. This made her happy. Of such is the Kingdom of God!
By the back glass door is a patio area, with an open ceiling. On sunny days, the sun shines down on this area. It has a large spa tub, which Kim and Stan may eventually remove. As soon as I saw it, I thought it’d be a perfect sun room.
I have one here at our house, and in spring and summer, I buy potted plants and flowers for it. Kim recently did the same and it looks great. She found some full, pretty ferns and some beautiful flowers to put by her front door and on their upstairs terrace.
This patio area is also where Stan grills. He grilled chicken for tacos one night when I was there, which were delicious!
Now I’ll show you the upstairs.
Kim was amused how I took pictures of everything. I do this all the time, wherever I go. I was able to take this cool pic, capturing the hills behind the house in their upstairs bathroom.
I notice everything. Their bathroom didn’t have a sliding glass door, like you would probably see here in the states. Instead, it had a stone wall with beautiful glass in it. The bathroom also had a beautiful picture in it, the terra cotta stone tile, and I believe a marble top counter. No, I’m not trying to sell her house, haha! She’s quite happy there and says she is finally “home.”
Here is the pretty guest bedroom where I slept. There are windows with an incredible view of hills and more of the colorful paintings Kim bought from local artists, including one of the “chicken buses” that are used for cheap public transport and one of children with a volcano. Kim said Stan is now using this room as his office.
The master bedroom is upstairs and bigger than the guest bedroom, of course. Kim hung another lovely picture with a volcano above the bed.
My favorite room, besides the living/dining room area is the terrace, upstairs just outside the master bedroom. Many homes in Guatemala have terraces. The weather is spring-like all year–warm and sunny, other than through the rainy season in the summer time. Here Kim and I had Guatemalan coffee that Stan had made for us. Kim bought cushions to make the (concrete!) chairs more comfortable for them and visiting friends.
Kim and I got a “selfie” pic, with my coffee and her shirt which read, “But first coffee.”
The terrace is so peaceful and the view of the hills so beautiful. When you walk the surrounding gorgeous neighborhood, you can get an amazing view of one of the volcanoes. The homes have beautiful flowers and landscaped yards.
Kim and Stan made me feel so welcome at their beautiful home. They are amazing, giving, loving people. I could have talked with them both for hours, as they are fun, funny, and have so much knowledge and wisdom to impart–only Kim couldn’t sit still that long, haha!
Kim inspires me and I loved her, Stan, and their warm, friendly friends Jennifer, Jamie, Jorge, our Spanish instructor Elvia, and Elvia’s and my friend/driver Allan. Kim is a woman on a mission for God, and you’ll have a hard time catching up with her race walking! (Lesson learned: I’m bringing my Nikes next time I travel there!)
Kim is “Ambassador to Antigua” and Stan is a marketing expert who is now a digital nomad. If you are ever in Guatemala, I encourage you to connect with them. They are on Facebook and you can find Kim at Heart For Guatemala here. Have coffee with them by Parque Central. They may even invite you to their home, as that is just the kind of people they are!
I encourage you to visit Antigua, Guatemala. It is so beautiful and you’ll be so glad that you did! Kim was right: a week is not long enough to travel there and visit! I can’t wait to go back, and I hope next time is longer.
Did you miss my other blog posts in my Guatemala Blog Series? Here are they below. Enjoy, comment, like, and share!
Blog 1: My trip to Antigua, Guatemala http://www.bethjones.net/my-trip-to-antigua-guatemala/
Blog 2: Travel requirements, the Guatemala grocery stores, and the street markets http://www.bethjones.net/travel-requirements-travel-requirements-grocery-stores-street-markets/
Blog 3: Antigua’s beautiful ancient cathedrals http://www.bethjones.net/antigua-beautiful-cathedrals/
Blog 4: The older Antigua, Guatemala cathedral, Iglesia El Carmen, and San Juan de Dios Convent http://www.bethjones.net/the-older-antigua-guatemala-cathedral-el-carmen-san-juan-de-dios-convent/
Blog 5: A surprise encounter at Parque Central http://www.bethjones.net/surprise-encounter-parque-central-salvation-prophetic-words/
Blog 6: Praying at Cerra de la Cruz for the people of Guatemala, a divine appointment in a coffee shop bathroom, and a little girl named Maria begging in the street
Blog 7: Expect the unexpected: Feeding the hungry at Parque Central http://www.bethjones.net/expect-the-unexpected-feeding-the-hungry/