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Grains of musical corn

by Diana Pastor

A few weeks ago I saw a video on Facebook of a guy from Cajolá, (one of the poorest municipalities of Quetzaltenango) who made a video of himself doing a cover of a rap song. What made it noteworthy? The song was in the Mayan language Mam. Soon after the […]

Recipe of the month – Chili Coban Chirmol

by Simone Riddle

Upon arriving in Xela four years ago I bought a Guatemalan recipe book. Food is my passion. It connects us to people and to cultures, and in my opinion is one of the best ways to get to know a country and those that inhabit it.

I came up with […]

Time to hit the Feria

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.

First held back in 1884 in the Canton San Nicolas, the fair has had various […]

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P o p p i n g

Daughter of Xelaju

And so have begun the long, long string of beauty pageants in Xela, to come to a culmination in September amongst all the other independence festivities. The most notable one in August was the Umial Tinimit Re Xelajuj No’j (the Daughter of Xelajju), which […]

The Phenomenon of Foreign Names in Guatemala

by Diana Pastor

My next door neighbour has 3 children: Anthony, Jason and Brian. No, they’re not American. They are only part of the phenomenon that in recent years has led to Guatemalans baptizing their children with English names, or with popular names in other languages, with European favourites being particularly popular. It’s […]

Wanderers of the Night

Last week we at XelaWho took you on the journey of Central American folklore to introduce you to such legends as El Cadejo, the dog of the drunks that roams the streets at night looking to protect or prey-upon those it encounters, and the Mico Brujos, the prankster, fruit-throwing witch monkeys that journey across the […]

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P o p p i n g

Progress on Salcajá

A lot of crime goes by in Guatemala unpunished. Heck, if you know the right people in the right places you can pretty much get away with ripping the whole country off for millions of dollars. Alternatively one can just obtain their get-out-of-jail-free card […]

Sin in Mayan Culture

By Susana Ramundo

Our culture is full of customs, beliefs and traditions that distinguish our nation from others. Humanity itself created the concept of sin to manipulate its social and familial environment. So that she doesn’t have to keep telling her child to be still, the mother tells him that it’s a sin […]

Demon Dogs & Other Tales

Those walking back home at night in Xela a little tipsy after one-too-many cuba libres will almost certainly encounter a street dog or two (or ten) on their stumble home, usually to be found devouring mountains of rubbish bags piled up high on street corners. Just about any encounter with these shaggy animals on the […]

Stuff

P o p p i n g

Miss Guatemala

Guatemala´s obsession with beauty pageants (there aren´t too many places with an pageants for Miss Electricity Company or the Municipal Employee´s Girlfriend) reaches its annual climax on the 5th of July with the finals for the Miss Guatemalan Universe Competition, which will be held right […]