Stuck in Xela
Hola Macha. Prefieres hablar en inglés o espanol?
I’m much more charming in English
Sure.. let’s do that then
Alright. So what brought you to Xela and how long were you planning on staying?
I came to volunteer at Trama Textiles, a women’s weaving cooperative based here in Xela. I arrived in May 2014 and I was originally planning to stay for three months.
So what happened?
I really liked the community here right away. It’s so laid back, you can be working and it feels like you’re on vacation. When I arrived I was actually coming from the United States and planning to move back after volunteering at Trama, but in the end I realized Xela was much closer to what I was looking for.
Definitely. And what do you do here now?
About a year ago I started a smoothie and juice bar called Frutopia which is now located on sexta calle just a block and a half east of Parque Central.
(Editors note: Frutopia is delicious. Jalopeno Jacobo recommends the Del Bosque smoothie but everything’s tasty)
What do you miss most about home?
I’ve been living outside of France for six years so I’m used to it, I really just miss friends and family.
And how do they feel about you living here?
They’re worried I’m in danger because Santiaguito is constantly erupting, and because I tease them by constantly reminding them that Santiaguito is constantly erupting.
Classic… What’s your favorite thing to do in Xela that people might not know about?
Most people who live here will know about this, but for anyone new to town I strongly recommend walking up the hills past Cristo Vive. In less than a kilometer you feel like you’re in a different world and surrounded by natural beauty.
And what’s your favorite day trip from Xela?
There’s a delicious seafood restaurant a half hour from here called Samala. The food is delicious, they have a great swimming pool, and the ecosystem there is so exotic and different even though it’s just a half hour away. But I go for the fish, I’m French so I’m more than willing to go on a day trip for good food.
Yeah, we really like food in America too, but we just eat whatever happens to be in front of us. Anyway, how about your favorite place in Guatemala?
There’s a town in Huehue called Todos Santos and every year for Día de Los Muertos there’s a big festival there with these famous horse races. It’s wild because the festival is the only time of year you can buy hard alcohol, and so people get waaaasted and then ride horses around all day. It’s actually considered good luck if someone dies during the horse races…
Wow, that’s a terrifying note to end on. Do you have anything else you’d like to say to our readers who are new to Xela?
Come to party but take time to explore… talk to the locals… and go to La Demo, it’s definitely the best market in town.
Good advice. Thanks Macha!