by Susanna Raymundo
All over Xela you can see people playing soccer – on synthetic fields, dirt, grass and sand and in the backyards and alleys of any neighborhood.
The superchivos is one of Guatemala’s famous teams and their fans have grown a reputation, with a love for the team which was passed down through generations. You see them at the stadium when their team is playing and for some the obscene words that you hear here will fill out your vocabulary very nicely when you need to express yourself in moments of rage, anger or any emotion. These indecent choruses are repeated, giving you plenty of opportunity to learn that you yell words like “hueco” when the opposition goalkeeper blocks a goal, “hijo de puta” when the referee makes a decision that goes against your team, “a la mierda” when someone is trying to draw a foul by faking an injury, or when one of your players has been given a red card. There are many variations on these themes, but these are the most common.
Superchivo fans are divided depending on which section they sit in – la vuelta del diablo, el sur A, I-9, la curva, el sexto estado, la bulla and la tribuna. They organize and practice their own cheers. They don’t care if it’s raining, if the sun is burning, or if they have to arrive at dawn, or midnight battling cold, hunger and rain or have to travel a long distance or spend a lot of money to be where the team is – they’ll be there.
For last month’s final, fans were lining up from 5am to buy tickets at the Mario Camposeco Stadium and to get a good seat once in. Some went with weary resignation as the superchivos have arrived in the finals many times over the years and walked away empty handed. Despite this, ten hours before kickoff, the stadium was full to capacity, mostly with superchivos fans. At 8 pm the chivos started with all the desire to become champions, and their loyal fans spurred them along, at the top of their lungs. And all that faith and waiting and screaming and chanting paid off, as Xela once again became national champions and the superchivos shirt will now be emblazoned with its fifth moon.