Locals aren't rich
I wasn't here long enough to really guage how the local economy is or what type of lifestyle the locals really have, but just strolling along the dirt paths brought us upon some local dwellings that looked pretty run-down and poor. There seems to be a divide among the Bohemians and travelers and the locals, although not any animosity or tension. Everyone seems to co-exist happily and peacefully.
I talked with a few travelers in San Pedro who couldn't stop raving about the place. One guy who was traveling for a year (must be nice!) stopped in San Pedro intending to stop for a few nights and had ended up staying for three months. Apparently, he couldn't get enough of the place (or was it the marijuana that seems to be pretty easy to get and not policed at all)?
In addition to young travelers, you're likely to see some hippies from the '60s and '70s who just never left the place. With the beautiful lake views, the thermal baths and the friendly locals, I guess it's not hard to see why someone would fall in love with the place.
I've heard that if you are here at the right time, coffee berries are growing on plants on the edges of town and the flowers from these plants provides a pleasant and distinctive smell that perfumes the air. While we didn't smell that, we did see coffee being dried in the sun. Many Pedranos make their livings by growing and producing coffee, although much of it gets sent overseas, so you can't always expect a great cup of coffee in Guatemala.