P o p p i n g
On the the 25th of April, hundreds of Quetzaltecos filled Xela’s Parque Central to join the nationwide protest against rampant corruption within the current government administration, after a Mafia-type operation was revealed to be operating within the country’s tax office, siphoning off millions of dollars-worth of tax money each month. The shouts were loud and clear: “¡El pueblo unido, jamás será vencido!” (“the people together will never be defeated” – definitely doesn´t have as good a ring to it in English!). Dozens of banners decorated the park, adorned with clever slogans such as: “Roxanna Baldetti: I´m not asking for your resignation, I´m demanding your trial”, “You don´t want any corruption? Then why do you keep voting for the same parties!”, “I don´t want your resignation, I´m firing you” and “A population that´s asleep can dream, but a population that´s awake can act.”
F lo p p i n g
And the heavens open
Well, that´s another dry season done and away with. From May until November we will be forced to endure the torrential downpours that are the staple ingredient of Guatemala´s rainy season. Those that have been in Xela for a rainy season before will know that this is not a country that does weather by halves: there´s no pathetic drizzling of rain of the sort that one finds in countries such as England; when it rains here it pours, coming down with such ferocity that it turns the streets of Xela into rivers within a mere couple of minutes. This means that we now have to try, and most likely fail (if you´re anything like us), to remember to bring our raincoats with us when we leave for work in the innocent- looking sunny mornings, or else face having a perpetual rack of rain-sodden clothes hanging up to dry in our homes. Good luck: we´ll see you on the other side!
We´re going to let you in on a little-known secret amongst foreigners and travellers spending time in Xela: there are actually other nightlife spots in the city aside from Pool & Beer, King & Queen, El Cuartito and Pasaje Enriquez (as great as those places are). We know that this may come as a shock, given that the strange breed that is the extranjero in Xela so rarely frequents other drinking holes outside of its natural habitat that you´d think they had been told that bogeymen inhabits all the other bars in Xela (although, this wouldn´t be far off when it comes to some of the infamous cantinas that can be found dotted around the city).
14 Avenida “A” and the area around the Municipal Theatre have a bunch of great bars and nightclubs that you can try out, which are particularly popular with Xela´s students. For live music there´s The Old School Bar (on 14th Avenida A) and Bari (in front of the municipal theatre) – although we´d recommend giving the latter a miss on Saturdays as their Saturday-night singer has a voice that sounds not unlike a dying goat. Not exactly a pleasant listen. For drinking you can try Déjà vu Cocktail Bar (on 14th Avenida) or La Taberna del Don Rodrigo (also opposite the municipal theatre), which is famous for its cheap draft beer. And for dancing there are El Duende and Zona 6 nightclubs, although these are renowned for being a bit stuck-up, and Shots Nightclub which hosts such crazy parties that it even has its own song (if you can count drunkenly shouting “Shots, shots, shots, shots” a song.)
So surprise the locals by getting out of your element one weekend this month, even if you may not be able to remember having done so when you wake up in the morning!