Guatemala was the first country visited during our long journey and will naturally burn a unique imprint in our mind. After spending a full month here, I feel like we got a pretty good sense of this country. We lived with a gringo family in a normal Guatemalan town, traveled to many of the usual tourist hotspots, hiked deep into the northern jungle, and visited very poor, rural villages and schools.
A few things in Guatemala work really well. My hospital stay was the best medical experience I've ever had. The hospital was clean, had modern equipment, and prompt efficient service. Fresh fruits and veggies are local, cheap and universally available. It seems like everybody has a piece of land and can eek by, somehow. Alcoholism is not a problem. Communities are strong, usually centered around the local Catholic Church.