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You may have noticed that the Guatemalan obsession with football got notched up a level this month. Or you may not have. The difference between intense and complete obsession is sometimes hard to spot. We are talking about a country where a crowd will likely gather to watch two kids kick a tin can around [...]

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

The Polls Come In

With less than a hundred days to go until the Presidential elections the campaigning is starting to heat up and the opinion polls are starting to appear. The company ProDatos conducted a poll to study voter intentions in the Occidente region (covering the departments of Quetzaltenango, Huehuetenango, San Marcos, Suchitepequez [...]

Movistar, Tigo or Claro?

by Diana Pastor

If you’ve decided to hang around Guatemala for a while, chances are you’re thinking about getting a cellphone. The first thing to know is that there are only three companies operating here: Movistar, Tigo and Claro. Deciding which is best for you obviously depends on what your needs are and your budget, [...]

Why is This Popular?

Talking about Bowel Movements

by Steve Mullaney

At a dinner party with strangers it is considered to be in poor taste to talk about politics, religion, or the size/frequency/consistency of your bowel movements. That final suggestion does not seem to apply to Xela, however, as it seems that most anyone toting a backpack and [...]

The Zunil Museum

by Jed Herrmann

XelaWho’s continuing series on Xela museums takes us a little bit farther afield this month- in fact all the way into neighboring Zunil. For those readers that are thinking, “Zunil, that’s going to involve a chicken bus isn’t it?”, be assured that this journey outside of Xela was not lightly undertaken.

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Xela’s Green Spaces

When thinking of the general color scheme of Xela, it’s unlikely that the word “green” will come to mind. Cinderblock gray? Quite possibly. Dust-storm brown? More than likely. Deisel-exhuast-stained black? Well, yes. But the city’s green spaces are few, and judging by the recent chainsaw massacre of every tree over three feet high along Zona [...]

A Bona Fide Cultural Experience

by Jonathon Van Valin

Isn’t this why people travel? To experience traditions lending insight and flavor to one’s local understanding while opening our minds to the pure truth of our shared humanity?

I wouldn’t know. I’ve avoided such things.

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Changing Money

by Steve Mullaney

Jean-Paul Sarte´s No Exit is a three-person play about hell—specifically the way that people´s attitudes create hell for others. If this play were to be updated for Guatemala in 2011, the three people would be as follows: a teller at Banco Industrial, the woman ahead of me in line with a backpack [...]

Guatemala News Wrap Up

May ended with another poor score for Guatemala – the country was ranked number 125 out of 153 countries on the Peace Index by the Institute for Economy and Peace. Among the criteria were citizen safety, impunity and conditions that facilitate criminals. Social activists took to the streets to protest ex-President Portillo being absolved of [...]