P o p p i n g

Boozy 70th Birthday

Happy birthday Quetzalteca, happy 70th birthday to you! And what better way to celebrate than to release a new flavour. The hype has only just died down since the release of the classy Tamarindo flavour on March 7th 2012. Do you remember where you were and what flavour of Tortrix you were eating at the time? Megapaca. Chile-ros. Como siempre.

The new flavour is reputed to spiced with “traditional Guatemalan herbs” but they can spice Quetzalteca however they want, it’s still not a proper Cuba Libre in my book when mixed with Super Cola and lime. Stay tuned and thirsty Xela!


F lo p p i n g

Show Trials, not Safe Streets

It’s been a heavy month or two of the cops cracking down on Xela’s most wanted. No, not thugs robbing people at gunpoint in broad daylight or assaulting women on the street. No no no… it’s lawful bars and nightspots that are under the thumb.

Several establishments, some of them several times in the span of a month or two, were visited by groups of 30+ cops during legal operating hours for “routine checks” of their papers that well, ah…, might have gotten out of order since the visit last week.

These visits, often accompanied by journalists, make great “we’re doing something” political fodder yet we here at XelaWho would rather get home safe at night than have our watering holes’ noise permit s quadruple-checked by a small army of uniforms

Garbage Angels?

So if you were around Xela in October and had your eyes (and nose) open you probably noticed the massive garbage piles giving Xela a new fragrant skyline. For over 20 years, Xela has dumped its trash in the nearby Palajunoj Valley, which lies on the way to Santa Maria Volcano, with little regard for the environmental damage caused to the surrounding communities and giving them little in return.

Well, last month two communities from the valley had had enough and blocked the road to the dump site for 8 days leaving Xela to wallow in its own basura. The communities had two demands: regulation of the pollution caused by the dump site and access to an old building owned by Xela’s Municipal Electric Company by the Minerva Market to sell their goods.

To deal with the 125 tons of garbage Xela produces each day which suddenly had nowhere to go (see photo on p29), our ever-optimistic local government advised that everyone should just recycle a bit more… you can probably guess how that went down. Trash piled up as everyone simply threw their (mostly Tortrix-based) trash on the street.

On October 26 the road was finally opened after the Muni announced they had reached a deal! (Despite the communities in the valley saying they definitely had not). The latest news on the deal is that it gives the community access to the market building to sell their goods but no formal lease on the building so it can be rescinded at any time. There was no mention of mitigating the pollution caused by the vast rolling hills of trash dumped in the valley by Xela… because that was an unreasonable demand, right?

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