P o p p i n g
Excitement in the sports world as Panama retires their bid to host the 23rd Central American and Caribbean games, in 2018, leaving Xela as the only candidate in the running.
Xela’s sporting infrastructure isn’t yet adequate for the games, in which over 30 countries compete, and an investment plan of Q341 million per year has been drawn up. So if the sports fans aren’t happy, at least the local construction industry should have a smile on its face.
F lo p p i n g
A rather sobering reminder of the dangers of heading north in search of a better life as statistics released by the Ministry of the Exterior indicate that 19 Quetzaltecos in the last 13 months have gone missing in their quest to enter the United Staes illegally.
Illegal migrants typically pay Q5000 to a “coyote” (people smuggler) to get them across the border. Perils along the way include criminals who prey on migrants, dehydration, and extortion from the coyotes hired to help them.
We got some sad news a while back. On the 27th of January, a couple of Xela regulars – Michael Johnson (63, from Oregon) and John Benniweg (73, from New Mexico) drowned after getting caught in a rip tide while swimming at Tilapa, a coastal town down the road from here. If you’ve been around town for a while you would have seen or met them – Michael first came to Xela around 2005 and made the move permanent in early 2010. He was an interesting guy – a great drinking partner and his love of agriculture led him to get heavily involved in a project to revive Amaranth cultivation in the region.
John had just finished celebrating 2 years living in Xela. He was the stocky guy from who always wore a broad-brim hat and a Mayan scarf. He wasn’t as outgoing as Michael, but he always had a smile and a few kind words for anyone he met.
They were both passionate about nature and the beach, and the one consolation of the whole story is that they went out doing something they loved. Well played, gentlemen. You lived life to the fullest and we hope you’re now in a better place.
Our condolences go out to their families – they’ll both be sorely missed by all their friends here in Xela.