I’ve been in San Pedro la Laguna, Guatemala for a week, staying with the sweet Gonzalez family who I met while studying Spanish here in 2009.

Pedro is a painter of traditional Mayan themes (ArteMaya.com) and even has a piece in the Smithsonian. Debora is a queen of the hand-made tortilla and will only cook them on her wood burning stove on the back porch.

It’s been a pretty intriguing week; climbing La Nariz del Indio, debating the rules of the imperfect subjunctive tense with my Spanish teacher, talking politics with the locals and listening to tales of corruption (presidential elections are in a month), and falling asleep to Chico Mendoza songs on repeat.

Chico Mendoza a ganar a otra vez! Por Don Chico Mendoza a votar a otra vez!

View of Lago de Atitlán post-steep climb up La Nariz del Indio (The Indian's Nose) and my classroom at San Pedro Spanish School.

There’s a 30Q entrance fee at the base of La Nariz del Indio in San Juan, but beware of the chumps from another pueblo on the tip who try to charge climbers again. And for the observationally challenged, look below.

Chico Menzoda is the current mayor of San Pedro, the brother of my home-stay mom, Debora, and lives in the same family compound. So within small pueblos in Guatemala, and specifically this group of Mendozan dwellings, there is a "party" support event every night. They always begin at 8:00 pm by playing candidate promotional songs over and over, and continue with speeches, in the Tz’utujil (su-to-hill) Mayan dialect, about what Chico has done for the community and what he will do. Of course, these political promises are delivered in between biblical excerpts and before serving bread and tea to hungry supporters.

Chico is a part of the UNE party that supports presidential candidate Sandra Torres, who just divorced the current president so she would be legally allowed to run. She is also suspect of being connected with the murder of a lawyer who, in a YouTube video posted just before his death, claimed Sandra and her husband, Alvaro Colom, were using Banrural, a Guatemalan bank, to embezzle and launder money … but that’s another telenovela in itself. I’d rather tell the Tonka tale of this morning's action scene.

Today is Sunday and market day for most Guatemalan pueblos. So, I decided to hop on my sweet little Cart-her KiLleR who’s been parked behind the house for the last week and moto over to do a little hand-made cloth shopping in the neighboring lakeside pueblo of Santiago de Atitlán.

I was, however, forewarned about robbers on the rutted dirt road that circumnavigates the volcano in between San Pedro la Laguna and Santiago de Atitlán and have even made the 30 minute trip a couple weeks ago with the CATours crew; although, we were lead by a police escort. Why the police escort? There have been cases of people being held up at gunpoint. The one I was told about specifically, was from a year or so ago when a group was halted at gunpoint and handed over money only to realize, after, that the guns were fake. And more recently, an ex-pat local mentioned that he traveled the road with no problems. I asked my house family this morning who said that it should be fine to go solo. So, with brass knuckles in my pocket and some accessible pepper spray, Cart-her and I set out.

It wasn’t until I was rolling down the final hill before the road flattened and the ruts faded that two men dressed in black jumped out ninja-style from the corn fields on either side of the road. They were wearing all black and pointing guns at me. So I did what any reverse psychology believer would do. I twisted the throttle, split through them with just feet to spare and realized what an impact the Tonka gun tale had on my decision. But there's no telling now.

I got a police escort on the way back.

Phew! I need a drink.

Chico Mendoza a ganar a otra vez!Por Don Chico Mendoza a votar a otra vez!