Xelebrity of the Month
XelaWho’s ear-the-ground correspondent, Jalapeño Jacobo, brings you the stories behind the famous faces you see around town in Xela. This month he spoke to the proprietor of Xela’s favourite cantina Marinitas 2, just up the road from Chocoyos Bridge.
Starting with the basics, am I correct in assuming your name is Marinita?
Nope, my name is Aura Marina Soch. Marinita is my aunt.
Interesting. I’m guessing she has something to do with the elusive and mysterious Marinitas 1?
My aunt used to have a cantina called Marinita over by the cruz de piedra but it doesn’t exist anymore. I started working there when I was 10 years old, then when I got married I moved here and started Marinita 2. That was 35 years ago.
Can you explain to us ignorant extranjeros what the difference is between a cantina and a bar?
This place is a cantina. All types of people come here and the drinks are cheap. But there aren’t many girls in cantinas. The girls are at the bars.What is your favorite thing about working here?The opportunity to form lasting relationships with people who have been coming for years.How about your least favorite?
The loud obnoxious drunks I guess I could’ve guessed that, have there been a lot of fights?
No, gracias a Dios, but we’ve definitely had to throw some people out.
I also wouldn’t think it’s fun to be forced to listen to the same songs from the jukebox over and over again..?
I love it! I love all of the songs on the jukebox and they’re always adding new ones.
Well then lucky you! I’ve noticed a lot of extranjeros hang out here, is this something new?
Extranjeros have always come here but more now than ever. I think partly because I’m in a tourism video that they show in the airports. There’s a scene in the video where I’m dancing with a gringo right here in the cantina. So yeah, it’s become a famous place over the years.
You’re already famous then? So Xelawho is small potatoes?
Yeah. I think it’s a very special cantina. All types of people come here; doctors, lawyers, extranjeros, students.
And what is it that makes the difference?
We pay attention to our business and to our customers, we always maintain a clean and friendly environment. It’s not a dirty place.
Do the extranjeros that come here behave themselves?
Ahh yes, they’re always very polite to me and always pay for their drinks.
(Keep up the good work people) But do they get drunker and louder than the Guatemalans?
It’s hard to say. Each person has their own personality. Some can hold their liquor and others can’t. It doesn’t matter where you’re from. We’re all just people trying to have a good time.
Do you have any advice for the extranjeros that might find themselves at Marinitas 2?
Not really. I’d just like to say that I love meeting new people and I hope they all stop by!