Cernikovsky - home
December 2004


Give The Gift of a Garden along the Alameda Santa Lucia ...
... 30 still left




Easter 2004
Semana Santa

Cernikovsky Family Christmas 2003  mail
2003 mail
2002 mail

November 2004 - Giant kites - "Barrilettes gigantes" in Sumpango Sacatepeques ....

... and November 2003 - the kites in Santiago Sacatepeques.

Fuego explosion
8th January 2003

January 2003
Antigua family photos

House Nov 2004
Photos Apr 2003
Baths July 2002
Kitchens July 2002
Fireplaces July 2002
Fountain Oct 2002
Guest Apt Nov 2004
NYC to Antigua trip 2002

Contact us

Graduation 2003

April 2003

Germany, Luxembourg
June 2003

April 2002

New Antigua website
Coming soon in 2004


Tomas, Barbara, Jennifer & David Cernikovsky

We wish you a Merry Christmas,   Feliz Navidad 2004
and a Happy New Year 2005 !     
¡Feliz Año Nuevo 2005! 

OCTOBER 2004.  Hello from Antigua, returning from a 5 week trip, a 25th anniversary repeat, through Italy

How are you? 
Here is our 2004 news.  We have spent our first full year living in beautiful Antigua, Guatemala.

As you know, after a holiday in Antigua in 2000, we bought a house and rebuilt it by mid-2003,  then rebuilt it again in late 2003 to change seven shops into two more apartments instead. 

That project finished early in 2004 and we now have five apartments and only three shops … much easier to manage than three apartments and ten shops !!!

In our garden it’s amazing how quickly things grow when there is no winter!! The rainy season lasts from May until November…most days with some rain… very rarely a whole day of rain.  The nights stay a temperate 60-65 degrees and the days from 70-75, but never above 80. 

The rest of the year is without a drop of rain - but the same temperature.  Antigua is true to its name – the “City of Eternal Spring”. 

While there are hot and humid areas in Guatemala, they are on the Caribbean, the Pacific Coast or in the Peten ... where the Tikal ruins are located.  We find living in almost year-round sunshine a boost to our energy levels!!!

And, not surprisingly, there are many Americans, Canadians and Brits down here…so Spanish is not essential.  The number of US Embassy retirees living here is amazing…probably because the cost of living is low…due to the low cost of labor.  We have Sears, Office Depot, Pricemart (like BJ’s)…Gap and all the rest. 
We chuckle about the fact that it seems like the Guatemalans just shop and eat. 

 (go to part 2)

   The money coming back home from those who work in the U.S. supports a lively economy and a growing middle class.  However, it is true that some 75 % of the population, predominantly all the Mayans, live in poverty. Since Guatemala finally elected a President who is not corrupt, as those who preceded him, hopefully the standard of living will improve throughout the country in the next decade…...

Barbara & Tomas
When Barbara moved down, she was immediately adopted into the bridge circuit.  She hadn’t played in nearly 30 years, but now manages to play 2-3 times each week.  This lead to a lot of new friends…but since most all of us travel a good bit of the year, the players are always changing.  She is also doing volunteer financial work for non-profits in town – the one closest to her heart is WINGS…a group that promotes birth control in rural Guatemala.

Tomas never seems to stop.  Soon after he arrived, he took on a project to “decorate” our street with flowers.  He enlists local merchants, neighbors, friends to buy wrought-iron fences around the trees on the street; we then buy the flowers, and employ a person to plant, water, maintain them, and deal with trash.  We now have nearly 150 gardens….and only about 25 left to “sell”.  He and the new mayor see eye-to-eye on the project and the mayor has finished paving around the trees, painting the curbs, and keeping the area nearly spotless.  The incredible difference is the “talk of the town”.  Tomas is helping a few restaurants with websites, still working on the Antigua “super-site”, and together we manage our apartments and shops.

Most important, we have taken time off.  A month’s trip to New York by car in May…returning through Mexico and stopping in old Spanish colonial mining towns along the way.  Then we celebrated our 25th anniversary by retracing our honeymoon for a month in Germany, France and Italy in the fall – almost exactly the same except about 10 times more expensive than 25 years ago!!!  We also take frequent 3-4 days trips…exploring Mayan ruins, Spanish colonial towns and    (go to part 3)

  the diverse, very spectacular    geography of Guatemala, and Chiapas and Oaxaca in Mexico.

Jennifer & David
Jennifer (21), is happily learning Spanish and developing her independence in her “own” apartment.  She met a friend who visits every weekend…they go shopping, to the movies, bowling, to museums, dine out…and discoing at the local club.  The other night they came home at 1:30 am  !!!!  It’s nice that she can walk wherever she needs to go – grocery shopping, the dentist, McDonalds (ugh – yes we have one and a Burger King too).  We are now working on getting her DVD rental store up and running for 2005.  Now that she knows Spanish, she will “manage” her own shop – doing what she loves the most….movies and movie stars !!!  She continues to amaze us - her Spanish vocabulary is better than Barbara’s!

David (20) is in his third year at the University of Rochester.  He decided on clinical psychology as a major, with a minor in Spanish.  This means more than 4 years of study…but hopefully with scholarships since his grade point average is above a 3.5.  He is happy, has a great group of friends, does well at our house in Prattsville on his own for the summer, and also coaches the local Little League team.  He is hoping to find a job in his field for the summer, in Rochester, next year. He visited us in Guatemala twice this year. And his prior travels with us now seem to be paying off.  He arranged a trip over Spring break for himself and nine other friends in London - they had a blast !!!  It looks like the whole family loves to travel.

Life in Antigua is wonderful. 
Please tell us about yours. Let us know if you plan to visit ???


Feliz Navidad ... Tomas, Barbara, Jennifer & David


Our Christmas news 2003                Our Christmas news 2002      .... if you like to read a lot

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This page was last updated on 02/21/19