P o p p i n g

Daughter of Xelaju

And so have begun the long, long string of beauty pageants in Xela, to come to a culmination in September amongst all the other independence festivities. The most notable one in August was the Umial Tinimit Re Xelajuj No’j (the Daughter of Xelajju), which was rather difficult to miss due to the huge posters of the contestants hanging up in Central Park during the build-up to the big event. After an intense session of traditional dances, speeches on the role of women in politics and decision making in Guatemala, and a barrage of questions on a variety of topics ranging from mining, education, culture, and the youth, the judges made their decision and crowned Vivian Aracely Marín Chojolán. We would recommend checking out some of the other pageants during September – they can be quite an experience. Particularly worth checking out will be the one for the National Flower of the Mayan People and the one to select MISTER Guatemala, where the boys get to have a go at being beauty queen. Check out the events section for details.


F lo p p i n g

Flood Finger-pointing

August 2013 saw Xela once again witness to heavy flooding in the streets, after a only a few minutes of intense rain. Zone 2 was the hardest hit, with rivers flowing through the streets and into people’s homes and businesses. As always, everybody is quick to point the finger at everybody else, and nothing is done to combat the persistent problem in Xela. Residents blame the municipality and the mayor for not fulfilling promises to install adequate drainage (no surprise there). The municipality blames local residents and businesses for not disposing of rubbish responsibly and blocking drainage systems with garbage, such as the Rio Seco which used to serve as a storm drain but these days looks more like an open sewer. Both are right of course, but it will be a miracle before both sides stop the finger-pointing & actually do something about it.


Reading the local work of first-class journalism that is the El Quetzalteco often feels a lot like reading a comic book strip about all the ridiculous stuff that goes on in the roads of Xela. Avid readers of our local newspaper will be no stranger to the daily updates of drunken drivers, malfunctioning vehicles or general complaints of the poor states of the roads (got to fit in an article on that one at least once a week), which read like some sort of running joke that would be hilariously funny if it wasn’t so depressingly tragic.

Just in August alone, we were treated to following delightful stories about all the fun and joys that go on in the streets of Xela:

  • One inebriated driver caused a triple-car pile up and then proceeded to attempt to drunkenly flee scene but failed rather miserably and was promptly hospitalised.
  • A chicken-bus caused another three-car pile up with a microbus and another car after its hydraulic system failed, causing it to lose control and swerve into the wrong lane
  • There’s a severe shortage of parking space in the city centre, causing chaos as most drivers spending 15 minutes or  more driving around looking for a parking space.
  • And, shock horror, the majority of drivers in Xela don’t abide by the established speed limits (did we really need a newspaper article to tell us this one?!).


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