When I look back, I realise I have always been inexplicably drawn to the feeling of community belonging; from revolving my external life around the social aspects of jobs to finding it not only difficult, but senseless to leave micro communities I find myself living in. This happened recently where I found myself wrapped in treacle like happiness as I tried to leave Atitlan Organics and the beautiful people I shared the experience of the permaculture workshop with.
It felt so good to work the land with these people and share meals, evenings, experiences with them. So I let the treacle stick me to that beautiful place and I kept on waking up and digging Swales, planting trees, seeds and harvesting pigeon peas. I kept sharing meals, stories and songs with them and I left only when I had to. The treacle kept sticking to me and I missed my shuttle and spent an unnecessary, but calm and beautiful, day in Antigua, before an epic 8.5 hour journey back to El Tunco. 2.5 hours at the Guatemalan/El Salvadorian border waiting for a new battery to arrive from San Salvador certainly wasn’t the highlight of the journey, that was a micro community I wasn’t keen to stay in. Get me back to the beach, I’m missing my buddy!
Once I had a dream of living in a community of like minded people, living from the land, learning from my community dwellers and in turn teaching them the skills I have to grow the consciousness of all, sharing common spaces, sharing common goals and then opening that up to others to learn and bring income or goods into the community that we couldn’t build or grow with our own hands. sharing experiences.
I’m acutely aware of how important it is to build the community with people you connect and adapt well to having heard some of the horror stories of people trying to get out of communities they took a part in building when the dynamics changed. Let’s see where the wind blows me and what comes up.
One community I love being a part of is the Vegan community. Anyone else had an experience of walking into a restaurant, getting into a discussion about Vegan ‘cheese’ and then finishing up the rest of their meal sharing recipes? A lovely girl in La Vaca Feliz, Antigua shared two recipes for Vegan cheese with me, one using cashews, the other using pumpkin and more for use in a vegan lasagne, pasta sauce type situation. Can’t wait to try it! Once I’ve finished my sauerkraut and mango pickle experiments, surfing, yoga, massaging… who said life in paradise was just laying around in Hammocks reading?
I stumbled upon La Vaca Feliz as I was giving one last ditch attempt to getting out of Antigua when I wanted to, and not when Guatemala was prepared to give me up. I really wasn’t expecting to stumble upon a vegan cafe/restaurant in this part of the world, but the universal Vegan logo drew me in. With a menu reminiscent of Vegacy in Sao Paulo, aside from the best açai in São Paulo and the buffet, La Vaca Feliz (the happy cow) serves up delicious, protein rich snacks. From delicious burgers to nachos with homemade vegan ‘cheese’, bean chilli, soups, falafel, homemade bread and vegan pasties, they also serve a mean breakfast. I had the burger, which was a lentil, chickpea mix and really delicious and went back for ‘omlette’ for dinner, a tofu & almond batter with vegetables. Reminded me very much of a lentil/rice mix dosa, very yummy.
So happy to find this lovely little enclave of Vegan community and friendliness close to the main market in Antigua. I will most definitely be back, every time I pass through Antigua!
Calçada Santa Lucia, 59