Since 1992, when God brought us together from our countries of birth (USA and South Africa), we had a dream to live in Guatemala one day. Michael has an extensive and varied background in coffee roasting, blending and espresso drink development in California, Europe and Southern Africa. The idea of opening a coffee shop in Panajachel on Lake Atitlan naturally grew into focus during a scouting trip in May 1999. Immediately after that visit, we sensed the time was ripe to make the move. All obstacles were divinely removed during the next few months and we drove down from Rohnert Park, CA in April 2000, in our 1986 Toyota flagship.
The leisurely and adventurous trip took three weeks through the US and Mexico. We were very happy to finally be here and make this beautiful area our new home. After seven months of settling in and turning the downstairs room of the house we rent into a coffee shop, we opened our doors on December 18, 2000. Crossroads has quickly become well known in spite of its “off the beaten track” location, to the glory of God. We endeavor to provide excellent coffee and home baked pastries that please the pallet of Guatemalans and foreigners alike.
Our other dream was to buy land and build a house. In our second year in Panajachel, we were blessed with a beautiful property on the outskirts of town. It is about an acre big and situated on a 45 degree slope. We call it Mooibos (“moi-bos”), which is Afrikaans for “beautiful woods”. We started developing it in December 2002, building an entrance and putting a wall up around it. In April 2006, we finally began digging the foundations for the house. It was a slow process, since the excavating was all done by hand, we have a small crew, and we had some setbacks when storms did damage to our walls. In December 2012, we were finally able to move in! Even though there remains lots to be done (including the building of some cabins) we absolutely enjoy the tranquility and space and love sharing a safe place of rest for many weary souls.
Our daughters, Kasia and Lungi, shared this adventure with us for fourteen years. They studied at home their whole school career, and in addition to learning Spanish and picking up random skills from all sorts of travelers passing through, were trained by their dad in all aspects of the coffee business. Now that they live their own adventures in opposite hemispheres of the globe, they miss this funky place they called home for the majority of their childhood. “Back at the ranch” mom and pop are enjoying the new season with less responsibilities, but we do miss them terribly.