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XelaWho by Issue

Happy Birthday, Xela

Some 488 years ago (give or take), Pedro de Alvarado and his band of marauding Spaniards engaged in a long and serious battle, slaying the possibly-factual indigenous hero Tecún Umán and gaining hold of the highland city they would later call Quetzaltenango.

Of course the city had been around for some time already – historians […]


P o p p i n g

Xela on the Map

A surprising and somewhat welcome announcement as Xela received a visit from Guatemala’s head tourism honcho, Pedro Duchez, the director of INGUAT in late April. Duchez claimed that Xela would be moving into the “first category” amongst tourism destinations in the country – […]

Why Is This Popular: Salsa, the Dance

by Janne Sørensen

Yep – the dance, not the sauce, although the name salsa covers the fact that the dance is a mix of several different styles. Salsa together with soccer is the national sport of Guatemala and a part of the Guatemalan culture.


Disappearing Mayan Languages

by Diana Pastor

My best friend, who came to Xela from Minnesota over a year ago, is currently learning the Ixil language. Maybe he never thought that, in learning a Mayan language, he would be making a small contribution to the preservation and dissemination of this language, which has survived only thanks to population growth.


Guatemala News Wrap Up

March wrapped with big showbiz news as Guatemala’s most famous musician and Pepsi spokesman Ricardo Arjona breezed through for the local leg of his Metamorfosis world tour. Earth hour (that thing where you turn your lights off for an hour) was not such a big hit – there were reports that “hundreds” of Guatemalans had […]

To Guatemalan Women

by Susanna Raymundo

You leave behind your teenage years and your dream of youth to be a mother, a victim of sexism, ignorance and customs. Your parents accept your marriage with another child to bring more children into the world, sometimes not caring if he is nearly twice your age. You become a housewife for […]