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XelaWho by Issue

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June 2009 Issue: Of Pig Bugs & Scandals

As the rains waterlogged Xela in May, a typically Guatemalan sense of resignation has set in. Sigh, it will rain every day. Our president will get away with murder. And the swine flu – may I please dub it the pig bug? – together with our never-ending political instability, is scaring away all the tourists, [...]

Those Who Can’t…Teach! Volunteer Teaching for Your Own Good

By Riley Lynch

So you came to Xela to learn Spanish. But 5 hour days of immersion lessons and a string of dinners with your host family later, you still find yourself tongue-tied when the ayudante on the chicken bus comes to ask for the pasaje.

No one ever said mastering another language would be [...]

¿Qué Onda Vos? A Series on Speaking Guatemalan Spanish

“¿Qué onda vos?” is XelaWho’s a monthly guide to speaking Spanish Guatemalan style. This month’s topic: funny stuff my Guatemalan girlfriend says.

In past issues this space has been devoted to the slang used in Guatemala. Our source for much of the local figures of speech comes from the book ¿Qué onda vos?, a book [...]

Daytripper: Cool Trips. Close by.

Daytripper is XelaWho’s regular monthly series on day trips within easy reach of Xela. This month’s article is called: Get Hot, Get Sweaty, Cool Off by Going Swimming in Retalhuleu.

By James Gray

I am one who loves hot, tropical weather. Give me a day between 85 and 95 degrees F. (doh, norteamericano handicap…make that [...]

Surviving Xela’s Rainy Season

By Steve Mullaney

Chances are the copy of XelaWho that you are reading is all wet. This, of course is no comment on the quality of this fine magazine, just the fact that all of a sudden it’s raining a couple hours a day, six-to-seven days a week. While we recommend buying an umbrella, in [...]

Merciful Minvera! How a President from Xela Brought a Goddess to Guatemala

By Riley Lynch

Manuel Estrada Cabrera was born in Quetzaltenango in 1857 and elected mayor in 1891. Eight years later, he became President of the Republic. In addition to promoting roads, communications and foreign investment, he had an entirely new idea: Guatemala needed Minerva. Lots of Minerva.

In Roman legend, the goddess Minerva was born, [...]

Why is This Popular? Jack Gear

By Steve Mullaney

Style is different everywhere, but nowhere is this more apparent than in Guatemala where the majority of us fashionistas walk around puzzled. We try to bring you explanations behind the most confusing trends with Everson and Juan who are 9th graders at a local school. This month’s topic: Jack gear.

XELAWHO: So, [...]

Jack Mannen: 1935-2009

By Lucas Vidgen

Nature has its own set of signals to warn us of dangerous creatures. Red stripes on a spider’s back. A grizzly bear’s growl. A man drinking beer from a can in the supermarket at 10 a.m.

But every once in a while a creature comes along that defies the stereotypes. And one [...]