Food Safety for Travelers Guatemala Spanish Schools
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Quiz: You pass through the market in the morning. You are on your way somewhere else and are a little hungry. You see this nice young woman selling melons and melon slices. They look delicious.  You do not want to carry a whole melon with you. Should you buy one or two slices to eat on the way?

For the answer click here.

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. The bacteria in the water in Latin America cause most people from the United States and Europe to get sick, often very sick, at some point. Stomach problems are almost unavoidable. Every one of your friends will give you different advice on what to eat and what not to eat to avoid getting sick. After years of traveling back and forth I've finally learned how to avoid getting really sick.
. It boils down to two basic rules:
  • Don't eat anything prepared in the street.
  • Don't drink anything which is not made with purified water. (Watch out for ice cubes.)
. Things sold in the street are very tempting. Resist the temptation. The delicious fruits are often kept moist with water. The vendors do not have a source of fresh water with which to clean the dishes. Solution: Bring you own food, buy fruits and vegetables and bread in the market, or eat in a proper restaurant. 
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. Water is the main source of the bacterial sickness. Most restaurants and hotels have bottled water, but check first. As far as I know, the Casa Rosario families who take in students  use only bottled water. Still it is a good idea to check. It is your health and you will be the one who suffers the consequences.
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Quiz 2. You have made friends with a very nice young Tz'utuhil man. You see him regularly going to work with his machete in a field past Casa Rosario, and you have begun talking to him almost every day. One day he invites you to walk with him to his house which is in nearby San Juan la Laguna. His wife and mother are very honored to have you visit. Before you have time to say anything the mother comes out of the kitchen bringing a glass of lemonade for you, just for you, none for anyone else. You are very thirsty. You don't want to offend their generosity by not drinking it, but you suspect it is made with the local water. What do you do?

For the answer click here.

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. Coffee and tea served in the houses is also suspect, unless you know for sure that they have used bottled water (this means that you have seen them use the bottled water). I have gotten sick from coffee this way. It is safe if the water is boiled for fifteen minutes, but the fact is that the Mayan families do not boil the water for fifteen minutes. Stick to sodas and bottled water, unless you are in a house where you know they used bottled water. Asking is not enough, they don't understand the consequences for you and to be polite they may say it is bottled water
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Always avoid ice cubes. "No hielo por favor" [hielo pronounced "yello" like in jello] Only in the best hotels are they made with bottled water. If you forget to ask not to have ice cubes, buy another drink without, otherwise you will find they have just remove the ice cubes from the one you were served defeating the purpose of removing them. 
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. Classes ] Activities ] Travel Tips Section ] Reservations Page ] Vision Maya ]
Directions Section ] Climate ] Money ] [ Food ] Health ] Hotels Guatemala City ] Hotels in San Pedro ]

For questions and answers in English call me in San Francisco, California at (415) 282-7654 (I will be away from December 25 to January .) or email me at .

Mailing address:
Casa Rosario Spanish School
Canton Sanjay
San Pedro la Laguna
Depto. Sololá
Guatemala, C.A.

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