Stuff: Some of the information you just can’t do without, plus a whole lot of filler


Quetzaltenango’s VII Annual International Poetry Festival

We like to keep an eye on what’s going on around here, and some months Xela’s nickname “the Cradle of Culture” seems like a cruel and ironic joke.

But then some months the city really pulls one out of the bag and surprises everybody. Well, prepare to be surprised.

May sees the 7th annual installment of the International Poetry Festival with events taking place around the country, but HQ right here in Xela. Organized by local poetry collective Metafora, the festival is dedicated to the memory of writer Luis de Lión who was kidnapped and murdered by the Guatemalan Army in 1984. It runs from May 3 to 7 and will feature Quetzalteco and Guatemalan poets alongside guests from all over Latin America, Europe and even a Palestinian invitee (¡Hola, Fakhry Ratrout!).

We’ve nailed down what events we could in our events section (p. 21), but for last-minute additions, visit the festival website here

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Speedy Presidential Divorces

Just five weeks after filing, President Colom and ex-First lady Torres’ divorce case was closed, leading many Guatemalans who have waited years for their divorce cases to be settled to think that possibly they need to be better connected. The couple continue to live together while the presidential palace is being fitted out as Colom’s bachelor pad and Torres continues to use her married name in political propoganda, a move that legal analysts claim contravenes the constitution.

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Post-procession Junk

Every Semana Santa, we’re taken aback by the amount of garbage left on the streets and in the plazas after each Easter procession passes. And it’s not just the crowds – procession participants are amongst the worst litterbugs at this time of year. The question “what would Jesus have done?” seems to be somewhat superfluous here. Come on churches – you can organize hundreds of guys to hang around in matching purple outfits seemingly doing nothing… surely you organize one guy to clean up after them all?

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