Perched in the Guatemalan Highlands, Panajachel is less than 90 miles west of the city of Guatemala sitting on the north shore of Lake Atitlán. The town is the tourist hub for the region and the base for numerous visitors wishing to cross the lake or to visit other villages and towns. A picturesque town, it was after the Spanish conquest of Guatemala in the 16th Century that Franciscans built a church and a monastery in the city to convert the local indigenous people to that of the Roman Catholic faith. Today the church still stands, and it's one of the gems of colonial style building from that era. The town is awash in cafes, bars and handcraft stalls and tourists can jump on board a boat to get to one of the lakeside Mayan villages. The administration heart for the surrounding region, Panajachel has plenty of sights to gawk at, and it's home to one of the oldest art galleries in Central America, "La Galeria". From poets to intellectuals, artists to writers and now coworking souls, Panajachel is where the imagination can run riot.
Guatemala's ecosystem may be in its infancy, but it's growing at such a rate that the country may soon be seen as one of the most promising tech hubs in Latin America. The country is home to some remarkable entrepreneur success stories such as Matias Tezano who founded hoteles.com that was one of the first online reservation sites targeting Spanish speaking Internet users. He subsequently sold this to Expedia in 2002 for big bucks when he was only 22. Since then he has been involved in more than 20 startups as an angel investor or founder.
Guatemala has a large English speaking population, a vast talent pool and is within close proximity to the United States and Mexico, 2 giants. Its tech savvy souls are hungry for growth and ready to make an impact. Coworking venues are creating the space to support the local entrepreneurs not just with somewhere to put down their laptops, but with the organization of meetups, conferences, programs and creating a more connected ecosystem.
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