P o p p i n g
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 here in Quetzaltenango. We will of course be cheering for Ana Mayela Aguilar Rivas, who will be representing Xela for the competition (which hasn’t won since 2008)!
F lo p p i n g
Police Station Siege
It´s not like we´re unaccustomed to violence here in Xela, but the events that unraveled in Salcajá on the 13th of June were enough to shock the nation. An armed gang of at least 10 men brazenly stormed into the police station in the Central Park of the normally tranquil municipality of Salcajá and killed 8 police offices. Unsurprisingly, narcotrafficking is suspected, although exact motives remain unknown.
It´s no secret that Guatemalans like their football. Anyone from Europe visiting the country quickly becomes privy to this fact upon arrival, whereupon they are bombarded with questions about which team they support or who their favourite player is, and promptly looked upon like someone from outer space if they can´t provide a suitable answer. But one does have to wonder whether a national pastime has gone a liiiiittle bit too far when the government forks out $1.5 million just so that fans can see a famous player kick a ball about in a field in their country. Yup, you read that right: reportedly Guatemala paid a whopping USD $1.5 million to Argentina´s AFA just to get Lionel Messi to play in the Guatemala – Argentina friendly at the Mateo Flores Stadium last month. Granted Messi did score a hattrick, but that still works out at as half a million dollars a pop to watch someone kick a ball into a net… against your own team. And all this in a country with one of the highest levels of malnutrition and illiteracy in the Americas. It´s always good to see those running the country have their priorities straight. After all, who needs to worry about hungry people when everyone´s busy watching football?