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XelaWho by Issue

September 2009 Issue: Xela’s Big September Party

Dust off your cowboy boots, people, it’s Fair time again in Xela. If you want to get technical about it, we’re talking about La Feria Internacional de Independencia. It’s when Guatemalans really show how they can put on a party.


¿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: Guatemalan cell-phone etiquette by James Gray.

Congratulations! You’ve invested in a new Claro, Movistar or Tigo cell phone, done your recarga electronica on a día triple and you are now so ready to platicar like a local. Feeling settled […]

Daytripper: Cool Trips. Close by.

Daytripper is XelaWho’s regular monthly series on day trips within easy reach of Xela. This issue focuses on: the other San Francisco (el Alto).

By Diana Pastor

Perhaps it is not famous for the Golden Gate, for an abundance of sea lions on its beaches or for its steep streets. Rather, this city is famous […]

Why Is This Popular? Soda-Can-Tab Bracelets

By Steve Mullaney

Style is different everywhere, but nowhere is this more apparent in Guatemala where the majority of us fashionistas walk around puzzled. We try to bring you explanations behind the most confusing trends with Edgar, a middle school student at a local school. This month’s topic: soda-can tab bracelets.

XELAWHO: It seems like […]

La Ultima Morada (The Ultimate Dwellingplace)

By S. Eliot Chandler

Lonely Planet’s guide to Guatemala (2007) describes Antigua’s cemetery as “a beautiful conglomeration of tombs and mausoleums”. Yet there is no mention of Xela’s fascinating and colorful Cementerio General, where the tombs and headstones are brightly painted and the architecture of the monuments is diverse. And if you look closely enough, […]

The Explainer: Hiper-Paiz Conspiracy Theories, Part I

By Steve Mullaney

Ah, the wonder that is La Pradera Mall & HiperPaiz: 47 stores that sell shoes, 38 phone kiosks, 1 overpriced bike shop and an enormous grocery store. The mall, clearly designed after one person watched Mallrats once, is a wonder of capitalism: how can it possibly exist? Why don’t the shoe stores […]

On the Road Guatemala: Get Off the Tourist Path at Laguna Luchuá

By Claire Bourgin

Last January, I took the opportunity to visit Laguna de Lachuá, north of Coban. I had heard about the place by a traveler friend and saw a few pictures which made me want to explore it.

Our trip started in Chisec, a small town 1 hour north of Coban. Early in the […]

Crossword: Test Your Xela I.Q.

Solve this crossword puzzle to see how well you know Xela.

By James Gray


The Comforts of Xela

By Luisa Ditmars

If you haven’t been challenged by living conditions in the outback recently, you might not realize just what a paradise of comfort and accessibility we enjoy in Xela. For example, Xela has sidewalks, and these are rightly famous. They increase mental alertness with a sharp surge of adrenaline after only one plunge […]