P o p p i n g
Let’s Go Bowling
Being a culture and nightlife magazine, we’ll be the first to tell you that Xela’s a great hotspot for culture in Guatemala. However, for those evenings when you feel like going out and doing something but aren’t in the mood for being cultured and civilised your options are pretty much limited to drinking beer, drinking tequila, trying to bust some moves on a dance floor or drinking beer (although, frankly, we see no reason to complain about this state of affairs). Fortunately, we now have another option to add to the “fun things to do in Xela” list: the city’s first bowling alley! Located in Paseo las Americas commercial centre (across the road from Walmart) it sports an impressive 12 lanes that, to our pleasant surprise, appear to all be functional. So we would have to concur with a man, much wiser than ourselves, when he once said: “f*ck it dude, let’s go bowling!”
F lo p p i n g
The cold winter nights of January & February have brought with them another visit from Xela’s least favourite temporary resident: the infamous gripe virus. The number of cases of respiratory illnesses recorded in Quetzaltenango’s health centres shot up to 630 a week during the first five weeks of the year. And that’s only taking into account the few people who were ill enough, or hypochondriac enough, to actually go see a doctor.
If you somehow managed to survive January and February without coming down with at least the snivels, then do make sure you pop by the XelaWho office this month as we would like to steal your immune system.
Last month nearly 20,000 motorcycle riders in Guatemala set out on a quest to break the Guinness World Record for the largest ever largest motorcycle caravan. They came tantalizingly close to winning the record, but ended up missing out on grounds that are guaranteed to leave you shaking your head to the phrase “oh Guatemala…”.
La Caravana de Zorro (“The Fox’s Caravan”) is now a yearly tradition that stretches all the way back to 1961, when it was started by just 5 avid motorcyclists. The riders start in Guatemala city’s downtown district and drive 137 miles to end up in Esquipulas in the Chiquimula department. Traditionally, the caravan ends in front of the Basílica de Esquipulas, the 18th-century church that is famous for housing the Shrine of the Cristo Negro (“Black Christ”).
This year´s caravan was the biggest yet, stretching a whopping 12 miles long at one point – quite a spectacle given that many of the riders wear fancy dress and crazy head masks.
However, Guinness World Records disqualified the event from winning the world record on the grounds that “certain requirements were not fulfilled.” Riders failed to meet established requirements to qualify for the record, which included carrying the official green bandanas, wearing safety helmets, keeping to the speed limits, observing the one-passenger rule and actually owning a driving license. In fact, it is not clear whether there was a single rule or requirement that was not broken by the riders. Oh Guatemala….