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Breakfast Burritos

By La Salsa Inglesa

Breakfast: my favourite mealtime in Guatemala and often the most social. Sometimes this is a simple affair, whipping up eggs and beans quicker than you can say “Ducal”.

There are plenty of great places to desayunar in Xela, too many to name here in fact, but if you fancy trying your hand at making desayuno casero this breakfast burrito will leave your guests enamoured with this Guatemalan weekend ritual.

 

 

Arroz Casero – The Burrito Filling
Serves approximately 4 – 5
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1.5 cups cooked black beans (i.e. a can)
  • 2 cups water or the liquid from the can
  • of beans but careful this can be very
  • salty
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tsp oil (if possible olive)
  • 1 tsp vinegar
Take a utensil with a heavy handle and
smash the garlic cloves to break up the
garlic.
Add all the ingredients to a medium-sized pan and mix well. Cover, bring to boil over a high heat then reduce the heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the rice is done. Make sure you stir occasionally to avoid sticking and you will probably need to add more water towards the end if all the water has evaporated before the rice is cooked. Season well before serving warm.

Stuck in Xela

By Jalapeño Jacobo

Each month we send our field correspondent, Jalapeño Jacobo, to interview and harass one of Xela’s most infamous extranjeros to find out why the hell they’ve lived in Xela for so long (just kidding Xela, we love you.) This month we spoke to Hanne De Wyngaert, who is originally from Antwerp, Belgium but is now owner of Que Onda Vos here in Xela.

Trendy

With the highest number of Facebook users in Central America and a Twitter population growing by the thousands every month, social media can be a great place to find out what’s buzzing in Guatemala. Of course, there’s also a whole lot of nonsense posted online too, but at XelaWho we like nonsense so here are some of last month’s social media trends, with the interesting & the informative alongside the vacuous & the ludicrous.

All is not well with Jorge Carlos Garcia Paiz. The former diputado candidate for the VIVA party got himself into hot water this month when he lost his cool and punched out a barber. A security camera in the barbershop captured Paiz losing his temper with the man cutting his son’s hair. He walks over to the barber, exchanged words with him, before effectively chasing him to the front of the barbershop. The man cowers behind the cash register; Paiz grabs the man, shakes him, and smacks him upside the head several times. Then his wife comes over and whacks the barber with her purse. All this makes the “vision with values” slogan of VIVA more clear: the vision is of fashionable haircuts, and the values allow for defense of those haircuts with violence if necessary.

Paiz has been rightfully castigated on social media. #TodoPorEseCorteMuco started as a platform to mock Paiz. Muco can mean unfashionable, but here it?s not far from basic, as in basic bitch. Think of a dude who might harass you for a quetzal on a bus in Guatemala City: carefully gelled hair, sneakers with neon laces, listening to Daddy Yankee on his phone without headphones. He’s probably named Kevin or Brayan, and in memes he and his muco haircut —or is it your muco haircut? —are responsible for the small victories and defeats of living in Guatemala: getting assaulted, not getting assaulted, waiting in traffic, getting stopped and searched by the police for no reason

Stuff

thumbs-up-poppping

P o p p i n g

Boozy 70th Birthday

Happy birthday Quetzalteca, happy 70th birthday to you! And what better way to celebrate than to release a new flavour. The hype has only just died down since the release of the classy Tamarindo flavour on March 7th 2012. Do you remember where you were and what flavour of Tortrix you were eating at the time? Megapaca. Chile-ros. Como siempre.

The new flavour is reputed to spiced with “traditional Guatemalan herbs” but they can spice Quetzalteca however they want, it’s still not a proper Cuba Libre in my book when mixed with Super Cola and lime. Stay tuned and thirsty Xela!

Food in Xela: The Runs Down

xelawho-134-jpeg-colourWe’ve all been there. That feeling as though a ball has just dropped inside your stomach. Time slows down. Conversations around you fade out to a background lull. Buttcheeks clench. Your mind becomes focused on a single objective: Must. Get. To. A. Toilet… Now. You stand up, garble some sort of excuse and make a run for it (but not too fast, you don’t want people to know this is a life or death situation). Upon arriving to the toilet… Actually, we better stop here – we’re sure you get the picture and we notice a lot of people reading XelaWho whilst eating so we don’t want to put you off that pile of frijoles revueltos on your plate.

Much like listening to awful music on a chicken bus or getting soaked-through by a deluge of rain in the afternoon because you forgot to pack your umbrella (again), getting the shits is a fact of life for those living in Guatemala. Often the blame is laid on street food; however we here at XelaWho believe it gets an undeservedly bad rap. Nonetheless, that isn’t to say there aren’t lesser and worse offenders. So in the interest of helping our readers navigate the minefield, we present to you the XelaWho Shit List.

The Runs Down: Alert Levels

Code Green: You’re all good to go.

Code Yellow: Risk of some minor grumblings. Small chance of an eruption.

Code Orange: Medium risk of an eruption. Precautions should be taken but equally no need to freak out.

Code Red: High chance of a major eruption, most likely requiring an evacuation of the immediate area.

Billionaire Haemorrhoid Stops and Frisks Our Minds

By Anon

The first presidential debate between orange billionaire haemorrhoid Donald Trump and librarian from outer space Hillary Clinton was full of color. Perhaps most relevant for readers in Guatemala, “illegal immigrants” came up, when swollen cheesepuff Trump was discussing gun control. He said, “We have gangs roving the street. In many cases they’re illegally here, illegal immigrants, they have guns and they shoot people. We have to be very strong. We have to be very vigilant.”

In Hair Fuhrer Trump’s world, undocumented migrants are somehow both extremely hard-working (stealing American jobs and accepting low pay, etc.) and extremely dangerous criminals. Naturally, facts show that undocumented migrants are actually less likely than “white” Americans to commit crimes other than entering the US without permission.

The Tangerine Tantrum also announced that part of being “vigilant” means introducing “stop and frisk” to cities across the US. “Stop and frisk” is a police practice adopted by the New York Police Department mainly to get unregistered guns off the streets. The tactic allows police to stop and lightly search anyone they think might have a gun.

The Celebrations of la Virgen del Rosario

By Diana Pastor

If you’re sad because the Independencia parties are over in party-capitol, Quetzaltenango, or if you couldn’t make it out, we have some good news for you. There are a bunch of festivals and holidays in Guatemala scattered through the last few months of each year, and here in Xela,  we’re lucky enough to celebrate our patron saint’s day as well! The festivities in honor of the Virgen del Rosario, patron saint of the city of Quetzaltenango, kicked off on September 22 and continue through October.

This festival has its origins in the sixteenth century. There are written documents from 1547 that record the existence of a brotherhood who venerated the Virgin of the Rosary. In that time, parades were held in which church-goers carried a depiction of the Virgin of the Rosary through the streets of the colonial cemetery located around the convent of San Francisco (now an old mall where vendors sell artisan goods).

Tradition is very important for Catholic Quetzaltecos, and therefore there are several congregations which celebrate the Virgin. Last year, for example, through the trumpeting of school bands marching through the street, you could still hear firecrackers being set off by the Taxi Drivers Association of Xela’s Central Park. Siren sounds came from the Volunteer Firefighters and the Red Cross who joined the parade. The most important of the parade, though, is always the journey of the Virgin of the Rosary through the downtown streets. After the journey in the parade, she is taken to the cathedral in Xela’s Central Park to be placed on a high altar and worshipped and admired until the end of October.

Stuffed Plantain Boats

By La Salsa Inglesa

One thing I noticed cooking in Guatemala is that people tend to freak out if you stray from the accepted way of preparing ingredients or dishes. For example, a friend shouted at me for trying to boil rice (rather than frying it first) and I was told when attempting to add slices of avocado to a salad that avocado is for guacamole, punto.  Therefore this month’s recipe featuring plantain, a staple food in Guatemala, feels slightly risqué because of its divergence from lo tradicional. It does however use ingredients that are easily sourced in the markets of Xela and offers a break from the usual comida típica.

Omit the cheese to make it a vegan recipe (it’s gluten-free) and if you’re not won over by the versatility and sweetness of plantains make the filling and serve with baked potatoes or pasta.

Serves 6. Approximately 1-hour cooking and preparation time.

Ingredientsstuffed-plantain-boats-with-salad

  • Oil (olive oil if you have it)
  • 6 ripe plantains

For the filling

  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 2 large eggplants, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 6 tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • Chili flakes (optional)
  • 1Q parsley, finely chopped
  • ½ libra cheese for the topping (preferably cheddar but whatever you can find)

Stuck in Xela

By Jalapeño Jacobo

Each month we send our field correspondent, Jalapeño Jacobo, to interview and harass one of Xela’s most infamous extranjeros to find out why the hell they’ve lived in Xela for so long (just kidding Xela, we love you.) This month we spoke to Colin Shadel, who is originally from Manassas, Virginia but is now owner of VRISA books here in Xela.

img_6042

Trendy

With the highest number of Facebook users in Central America and a Twitter population growing by the thousands every month, social media can be a great place to find out what’s buzzing in Guatemala. Of course, there’s also a whole lot of nonsense posted online too, but at XelaWho we like nonsense so here are some of last month’s social media trends, with the interesting & the informative alongside the vacuous & the ludicrous.

Last month on the 22nd of September, Guatemala’s federal cabinet announced that they were suspending the right to protest due to heavy rains. Yep, that’s right, freedom of expression in Guatemala is now conditional on the weather. The state of emergency declaration suspended Sections 5 and 26 of the constitution provoking Guatemaltecos across the country to take to social media to vent their outrage with the hashtag #LaMordazaDeJimmyMe (Jimmy’s gall makes me…). @Juancarloslobo6 tweeted “Jimmy [Morales] suspending civil rights won’t stop peaceful protests!” @Ladoc02 said “This is a return to the era of oppression of the 80s, the Old Politics. Liars!” Tuiteros (Twitter users) have even revived the #RenunciaYa (resign now!) hashtag that was instrumental in ousting former president Otto Perez Molina. Good work Jimmy. Nicely done…

Every Guatemalteco with a iPhone 7 and/or fijolito with a foil antenna attached was live tweeting their ridiculous shenanigans for #IndependenciaGT (Guatemlan Independence Day). From patriotic foods (see meme on the page opposite) to patriotic hangovers, even the most Guatemalan of things, potholes, got even more Guatemalan (see page opposite). Amongst the social media e-party @adrian_jam soberly tweeter that “I fear that the people who celebrate the @IndependenciaGT the most, have the least independence.”