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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 3’s 4th Calle, this is not a situation of overriding concern to city planners.

And while we all know that the easiest way to get some grass under your feet is just to hop a bus to, well, pretty much anywhere except Guatemala City, some people don’t have that option, so the kind folks at XelaWho packed up their picnic rug and went out in search of a couple of square feet where we could lay it down without getting severe gravel rash. Here’s what we found:

The Zoo (cnr 4a Calle & Av Las Americas, Zona 3) As unintuitive as it may sound, the place where they keep animals in tiny concrete boxes is also Xela’s biggest green space. Lots of trees, acres of grass, a fairly sad looking fountain and bandstand and plenty of canoodling teenagers on weekends.

El Baul (Colonia El Baul, Zona 5) While the technical blade-of-grass count is surprisingly low, this dusty hilltop overlooking Xela is a favorite picnic destination and jogging spot. There are so many trees up there that you have to actively seek out a patch of sunlight. Plus they have these concrete slides that are completely terrifying if you go down sitting on a plastic bottle.

Parque Central (Zona 1) If you look hard enough you will notice that there are some grassy spots in the Central Park, and the absence of little fences or “stay off the grass” signs implies that you could stretch out there for a couple of hours and catch some rays. Why don’t you try it and let us know how it works out for you?

Complejo Deportivo (4a Calle & 27 Av, Zona 3) Xela’s sports complex is surprisingly well set up, with the requisite football fields, a good indoor basketball court with climbing wall, indoor swimming pool, baseball field, running track and tennis courts. There are also vast expanses of open grassy areas, making it a great place to get away from the traffic and crowds.

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