P o p p i n g
Up, Up, and to Guate!
Tired of those grueling 4-hour bus trips to Guatemala City just to take a 6-hour flight back to North Dakota? Or perhaps you’re sick of missing your flight back to North Dakota because that 4-hour bus trip actually took you 8-hours due to road construction? Fret no more, travelers, Xela’s airport is finally open for commercial flights to Guatemala!
The commercial flights began on September 12th and will operate according to the following schedule: Monday and Saturday there will be one flight from Guatemala City to Xela at 8:45am, and one from Xela to Guatemala City at 9:45am; on Wednesdays, there will be one flight from Guatemala City to Xela at 4:15pm, and one from Xela to Guatemala City at 5pm. The cost for round-trip and one-way flights will be ~Q950 and ~Q575, respectively, and can be purchased from the bank Crédito Hioptecario Nacional (CHN). Find their Xela location at 12 Avenida 5-12, Zona 1 in Xela.
F lo p p i n g
Rain, Rain, Vayase
Quetzaltecos have been patiently waiting for Xela’s not-so-new-anymore mayor, Luis Grijalva, to turn the municipal government on its head and do a serious overhaul to shed the intense corruption and inefficiency that has characterized previous administrations. Although Grijalva has been quite critical of the previous mayor and his cabinet, he himself has little to brag about so far. He was questioned recently about his plans to improve infrastructure to withstand heavy rains and flooding during a radio interview, to which he said that he has been “praying for the rain to end”.
Praying is totally fair game… but not exactly the answer you want to hear from the mayor of a town where preventable flooding causes irreparable damage to people’s homes and storefronts.
Every October Quetzaltecos face a difficult decision. No, it’s not whether to buy pupusas or garnachas for dinner, nor is it whether to get limón or chile-ros Tortrix (note: always get the chile-ros!); it’s whether to stick around in Xela and enjoy the bevy of Halloween costume parties or, instead, to do the Nebaj to Todos Santos hike.
Xela’s Halloween scene is quite varied, with events ranging from booming club parties to chiller house parties (for those of you looking to make a Trump and Hillary Halloween appearance, be sure to head up to Xela’s Megapaca for some great deals on pantsuits and baseball caps).
If you’re looking for a more authentic Guatemalan experience, look no further than Todos Santos for a Dia de los Santos celebration you’ll never forget. The 4-day hike is beautiful, but the party is even better. The famous local drunken horse race (sober horses, drunk people), called Skach Koyl, takes place on Novermber 1st to mark the Day of the Saints celebrations. The riders attempt to finish an 8-mile course, with the winner of the race earning himself a live chicken and the title of El Capitan. Be careful up there, though — people deemed “too wasted” (not just regular wasted) are hog-tied and put in a shack to sleep it off for a few hours!