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All We Want for Christmas is a Sustainable Use Policy for the Centro Historico

On an encouraging note, there seems to have been a spark of interest lately in conserving Xela’s Centro Historico. Various committees are springing up and meeting regularly to talk about doing just that. We’ve even been semi-invited to vaguely participate in a couple. But of course that never happened.

But the great thing about [...]

Stuff: Some of the information you just can’t do without, plus a whole lot of filler

You Shoulda Been There The Xela Xmas Parade

Being that we’re devout observers of most Cristo-capitalist rituals and that it passes a block from the office, the XelaWho team are regular attendees at the desfile navideño. It’s a mildly interesting hour or so and this year was no exception.

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What Is The Mexa Tze’?

by Susana Raymundo

The Mexa Tze’ is what we call a backpack today, only made of wood and the straps went around the head. It’s where my grandfather carried my grandmother when I was very small and had to go to the cotton, sugarcane and coffee farms, to work for a little money.

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Guatemalan “Road” “Rules”

There is probably no more succinct argument for the viability of anarchy as a system of social organization than the Guatemalan road system. Consider the state of the roads and the vehicles, the near-complete lack of police and licensed drivers and then consider that there are barely enough chicken bus crashes to keep Nuestro Diario [...]

Fast Food Culture

by Diana Pastor

While talking to a co-worker, she told me: “My younger sister asked me to take her to McDonald’s to celebrate her birthday. And she does nothing but ask that.”

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How To Throw A Despedida

by Cynthia Ord

Xela, also known as “the voluntourism Mecca of Central America,” hosts its fair share of medium- to long-term travelers. It’s a good place to spend a few months learning Spanish and helping out at one of the many worthwhile NGOs in and around the city. Consequently, the despedida (goodbye party) has become [...]

Guatemala this Month

Take a deep breath – this stuff actually happened.

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Why Is This Popular? Random Gunfire

by Steve Mullaney

If you’ve been around Xela for longer than a week or so then you have been woken up by two things: firecrackers and gunfire. Ideally, you have learned the difference between the two – that way you won’t jump into the middle of gang warfare singing Las Mañanitas.

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Monument Dump

by Steve Mullaney

If you are a foreign government that wants to say “Thank you for the cheap labor” or “My bad on the whole 1940’s Syphilis Experiment” you have probably decided to build a monument somewhere in Guatemala. The Ministerio de Monumentos Extranjeros (MINMEX)* has apparently decided that the best place to put every [...]