Disasters are always more real to us when it's a place we've been to or that we can relate to. All the news from Guatemala has me reeling because I've been to Lake Atitlan, which is where the hard hit village of Panabaj is.
When Matthew and I were in central America a few years ago, we spent a day on the lake, visiting some of the sites there. This was not a town we visited, but the area was beautiful.
Traveling in less touristed areas is always lovely for that very reason - fewer tourists. Of course, you also spend more time getting from point A to point B because there isn't the infrastructure for it.
Officials are saying they will simply declare some towns to be graveyards and leave them. That is a beautiful sentiment in some ways, and yet horrific at the same time.