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Xela, December 1, 2009: This month’s topics:

  • Cheap flights from Tapachula
  • El Festival Gran Teatrito/The Great Little Theater Festival
  • Guatemala’s Natural Treasures Bite Back (and Hard)

POPPING I: Cheap Flights from Tapachula thumbs-up-poppping

With the arrival of the airline Interjet, Tapachula, Mexico’s airport has become a more useful hub. The budget airline offers direct flights into Mexico City, with connections to destinations throughout Mexico, including Tijuana, Monterrey, Cancún and Guadalajara. Once in Mexico City, of course, you have tons of international flight options.

Tapachula is about the same distance from Xela as Guatemala City. Visit XelaWho’s Web site for tips on getting there.

Interjet’s Web site is www.interjet.com.mx.

thumbs-up-popppingPOPPING II: El Festival Gran Teatrito

Check out the Festival Gran Teatrito, a fun, free and diverse celebration of theatrical performance. It includes 20 presentations of drama, comedy, absurd, mime, puppet theater, music and monologues. The festival will take place December 3-6, 2009 in various locations throughout Xela and the city of Totonicapán. See this link for a complete schedule and www.festivalteatrito.blogspot.com for more extensive info.

Guatemala’s Natural Treasures Bite Back (and Hard!)

Unless you want to be really sad or mad, don’t read the national newspapers. Over the past few months, the years of neglect of Guatemala’s natural treasures is coming back to bite the country. The most publicized news is that of the stinky (and poisonous) cyanobacteria bloom that now plagues Lake Atitlán, one of the world’s most beautiful places and a top tourist draw. Raw sewage, agrochemicals, erosion, invasive species and increased temperatures all have contributed to the problem. While the government scrambles to find the funds to at least clean up the poop dumping, tourism is down to 50% of normal and dropping fast.

Meanwhile, up north in formerly forested Petén, the grandest city in the classical period of Mayan civilization, El Mirador, is deteriorating rapidly. Illegal forest clearing for agriculture and cattle ranching, complemented by drug trafficking and poachers of wildlife and archaeological treasures, are the forces conspiring to destroy what is supposed to make Tikal look like a Lego scene.

If you need a good cry, we’re there for ya’.

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