P o p p i n g

Xela’s Happy Too!

In March this year the United Nations launched a global campaign for happiness in order to celebrate the International Day of Happiness. To the theme tune Happiness by Pharrell Williams, they are encouraging individuals & groups from around the world to film & upload videos of themselves expressing their happiness in the diverse environments where they live. The campaign has caught hold in Guatemala & numerous videos have recently surfaced from groups of smiley happy people in places like Antigua, Cobán, Salcajá and, of course, Xela.   The video Xela is Also Happy  was produced by the group Movimiento 502 & uploaded to Youtube in April for all to see. We highly recommend everyone who has a love for this wonderful city to give it a watch: it comes with a 100% guarantee to brighten up your day & to put a big grin on your face.


F lo p p i n g

Earth Day Woes

On the 22nd of April the world celebrates Earth Day: a reminder to us all to cherish & respect our beautiful planet and to change our destructive habits that cause it, and us, so much damage. The date couldn´t have fallen at a more opportune moment for us all in Guatemala: just a couple of days later, Insivumeh (the national institute of meteorology) published warnings of  severe droughts  potentially occurring in the Altiplano in the middle of 2014. It prognosticates that the phenomenon colloquially known as El Nino “Débil” (The Weak Child) – the hottest & driest part of the year that used to normally just last a week or two – could last up to a month this year, gravely affecting local agricultural production & livelihoods in the region. A chilling reminder to us all of the consequences of unsustainable living.


“Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice .”

Anyone with an interest in, or love for, Latin American culture will no doubt remember reading the above opening sentence & the 400-odd pages that proceeded from it with an unparalleled sense of wonder & awe. 100 Years of Solitude has, for many years, been the number one go-to literary masterpiece for all those wanting to get a taste for Latin American literature, history & culture.

So it was with a sense of great sadness that millions across the globe read the news that Gabriel Garcia Marquez passed away on the 17th April, 2014, aged 87. Believed by many to be one of world´s greatest writers, his work touched the lives of so many people & inspired countless budding authors & artists in all corners of the world.

Many tributes have since been paid to “Gabo”, but we feel this one by just about perfectly sums up why reading his work is such a magical experience:

“Whether writing short stories, epic novels, or nonfiction, Gabo is above all a brilliant storyteller, & his writing is a tribute to both the power of the imagination & the mysteries of the human heart. In Gabo’s world, where flowers rain from the sky & dictators sell the very ocean, reality is subject to emotional truths as well as physical boundaries. It is a world of great beauty & great cruelty; a world where love brings both redemption & enslavement; & a world where the lines between objective reality & dreams are hopelessly blurred. It is a world very much like our own” 



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