by Diana Pastor
I’ve always enjoyed writing for Xelawho. The name of this magazine is a combination of the K’iché name for Quetzaltenango, Xelajú, and the interrogative who -a name that suggests a search for persons, for the movers and shakers behind the scenes in Xela and Guatemala. It’s a guide and an important reference for our foreign friends and Guatemalans both.
Eight years ago, I read Xelawho for the first time. I asked James Gray, the editor at the time, whether I could be part of the team at the magazine. James was friendly to a fault -one of those rare souls painted with a perpetual smile -and he was kind enough to extend the opportunity for me to write a series of articles, “Spotlight On,” that touched on different art and culture topics in Quetzaltenango.
In time, I expanded the focus of my column from arts and culture. Thank you to the owner, Lucas Vigden; past editors Steve, Jed, and Chris; and current editors Alex and Sean. They’ve given me space to write about politics during Guatemala’s presidential election and to provide Valentine’s day tips for Guatemalan-expat romance.
The variety here is Xelawho’s real strength. It’s writing about everything and by everyone, written in a clear and lighthearted style that’s accesible and useful. I took a moment to flip through last month’s edition and found pretty much everything a first-time arrival to Xela would want; guides to groceries and buses, places to eat and drink, hostels and apartments, trips and activities, language schools and secrets to staying healthy, news summaries and bad puns, the best and worst of Xela in the past month, photos and quotes from groups in cafes and bars, classifieds, quizzes, sudoku, memes, dispatches from Guatemalan social media -what more could you cram into 32 pages?
My words are shaped by satisfaction and nostalgia here. As you may have guessed from the title, this will be my last article for XelaWho. If you’re reading this magazine for the first time and plan on staying in Xela for more than couple months, here’s my advice to you -keep reading. Don’t miss a month.
To those readers who’ve been so kind as to give me their time and attention in more than one edition of the magazine, I’d like to say that it’s made me so happy to be able to share my words with you; sometimes serious words, and sometimes words that were a little more lighthearted. It’s been an educational experience for me, and I hope you’ve learned something as well. I leave you with a hug, and as Guatemalans sometimes say: ¡ahí nos vemos! ¡Hasta Pronto!