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The past few years the quetzal has been at at about 7.75 quetzales to one dollar. One quetzal buys about what one dollar buys in the United States (unless you are buying something like electronic equipment). 
. Things keep getting easier with regard to being able to get money in Guatemala and San Pedro. The first time I was in San Pedro I couldn't find anyone who could change a twenty dollar traveler's check, because even if I bought something they did not have twenty dollars worth of change. Now there are two banks in town. To do banking you used to have to travel to Panajachel across the lake so if you were lucky it would only take you half a day. 
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. There is now a ATM in San Pedro at Banrural. There are branches of Banrural in almost every town in Guatemala. On the street that comes up the hill from the muelle (dock) to Panajachel, Banrural is a block and a half past the market. There are also many internet cafés in San Pedro. The one pictured here two doors before Banrural has some of the newest and fastest computers in San Pedro.

There is another ATM near the dock to Panajachel. It would be safest never to use this ATM. It is rumored to be connected to Chilean mafia. A couple of people have had all the money in their accounts withdrawn after they used this ATM. Always use ATMs in Guatemala that are connected with banks.

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. Western  Union: You can get money via Western Union at Ban Rural near the center of San Pedro. It is expensive so if you have another way to get you money it will be cheaper. WARNING: When money is sent to Guatemala via Western Union it is sent to ALL of Guatemala and you can pick it up anywhere. If you tell your family to send it to San Pedro la Laguna, and your family goes to an outlet where there is not an experienced clerk, he will tell your family that the money cannot be sent to San Pedro. If you family asks to send it to GUATEMALA, the same unknowledgeable clerk will be able to process it and your money  will arrive in San Pedro where you can pick it up. If you have moved on, you will be able to pick it up any office in Guatemala.
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. Safety: Regarding money San Pedro is a fairly safe place while Guatemala City is not. I think I have fallen prey at least once to almost every type of confidence scheme there is (always in Guatemala City). It is a good idea to have an extra $20 bill, and an extra $100 bill hidden somewhere so that if you are robbed you have a little bit of money to hold you over. Be especially careful the first few days. It takes a while to adjust to the change from a first world country to a third world country where the poverty levels are so extreme. San Pedro does not have the poverty which you will find in the city, so it is a good place to get aclimatize yourself. If your traveler's checks are stolen, report them stolen and wait until you return to ask for your money back. A $100 traveler's check was stolen from me once and it took me a week staying in Guatemala City, going to the bank and then the police stations (one after another...) to get the money back. In the US, it would have taken me a half an hour at my bank to resolve this.
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Think twice about bringing valuable items: If you cannot afford to lose it (computer or camera), or it has sentimental value and cannot be replaced, you probably should leave it at home. Disposable cameras are a good alternative. You don't have to worry about losing them. If you stay with a family some member may want you American levi's or T-shirt, so take this into consideration when you pack.
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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.

All paintings and photographs Copyright © 1988–2013 Arte Maya Tz'utuhil
Todas pinturas y fotografías son Derechos Reservados
© 1988–2013 Arte Maya Tz'utuhil

All paintings are copyrighted by Arte Maya Tz'utuhil for the artist. The reproduction rights are reserved and administered by Arte Maya Tz'utuhil for the artist. Reproduction for commercial reasons without prior written consent is strictly prohibited.