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XelaWho by Issue

Who Do You Love?

February – also known as the mes del cariño – in these parts is always a weird time, and when it lands in an election year, the mix gets just that little bit headier – a pungent stew of Hallmark-style sappiness blended with harsh, no-holds-barred politicking.

Guatemala got its latest installment of Wikilove last month, […]

Liquors of Guatemala

by Diana Pastor

One of the more interesting things about Guatemala is the diversity that it offers. In a relatively small area are a range of cultures, climates, landscapes, foods and drinks. This last category is particularly interesting when you look at all the different ways that home-made alcohol is produced. Sometimes they’re sold from […]

Laguna Chicabal

by Susana Raymundo

The beauty of the Laguna Chicabal is obvious at first sight, with the Volcano Santa María looming in the background and the shimmering, tree-surrounded lagoon in front. What surprises many is the abundance of wildlife in the area.


Talk of the Town

by Berto the Street Dog (as told to Blake Nelson)

Sun’s coming up later and later these days. I arose slowly this morning, which is like saying the avocados seem a bit green lately. I’m a street dog for crying out loud. When we don’t rise slowly it’s because we fell asleep in the road […]

Why is this Popular? Giving Vegetarians Chicken

by Steve Mullaney

Poor vegetarians. Somehow, the definition of vegetarian has yet to make it down to Xela. Most vego’s have tales of being offered vegetarian dishes that “have just a little bit of meat” or “are chicken, not meat”. The cultural practice of serving meat to people who do not eat meat is one […]

Know Your ‘Nangos

We all know (or think we know, or got told by some guy) that Quetzaltenango means “place of the Quetzales” but then like any good historical theory, there’s a counter theory that says that, as the possibly semi-mythical Mayan warrior Tecún Umán was killed here, it actually means “resting place of the gods”.


Xela for Kids

You would think, being that there are so many of them around, that Xela would be well set up for kids, but the opposite is often true – playgrounds are rare, often neglected and sometimes dangerous and activities, when they exist often involve a certain “magical clown”who many parents try to avoid at all costs. […]

Guatemala News Wrap Up

A bad start to the year for Guatemalan kids as a report found that, in all of Latin America, Guatemala invested the least in early childhood development. Things looked like they were getting under control in Alta Verapaz as it was announced that the State of Emergency may be downgraded and another police station installed. […]