P o p p i n g

Speaking Truth To Power

Last month, Xelawho took readers for a ride through the dark carnival of modern politics —detailing the politically ascendant TV clowns who’ve come to power in the United States and Guatemala. The brother and son of Jimmy Morales, as we wrote in that editorial, are in trouble for their relationship to upscale Guatemala City restaurant Fulanos y Melganos. That restaurant billed the National Property Registry in Guatemala for a whopping 90,000 Quetzales —looking to taxpayers to underwrite meals that it seemed never happened.

Once Xelawho reported this story, justice came swiftly to the Morales brothers; Jimmy’s brother Sammy was promptly arrested and his son Jose Manuel turned himself in. Although the news was broken first by the Associated Press, Reuters, and several other international outlets less reputable and influential than Xelawho, our editorial staff is firmly convinced that we busted the case wide open.

We’ve been enthusiastically high-fiving one another and blowing kisses at ourselves in the mirrors of filthy cantinas across Xela for shining a light into the darkness and holding the powerful accountable here in Guatemala once again


F lo p p i n g

It’s … Cold?!?!

It’s cold in Xela again. Dipping down below freezing in the middle of the night. Reminding us that we live at 7,500 feet. What gives?

Xela, like most of Guatemala, has no piped gas to speak of. That means no central heating systems , no thermostats to cheekily raise the temperature on in the middle of the night. Head to Demo, grab some chumpas, and drink beer to fool yourself into the sensation of warmth. Even better —take a vacation to the lake, where the sun shines eternal.

For Whom The Taco Bell Tolls

In the beginning, God created the taco, and it was good. He gave it to the indigenous people of Mexico, because they seemed alright, and for a time that worked pretty well.

In 1519, as you may or may not have heard, this all went to shit. Hernan Cortez came dancing across the water with his galleons and guns; America had discovered white people, and white people promptly discovered the taco. They loved it. 95% of the indigenous population of Mesoamerica died off from smallpox, influenza, and infant mortality, but the taco endured, becoming a staple of Mexican cuisine.

From the taco came Taco Bell -an ancient food repurposed as the flagship product of a titanic fast food multinational. And now, in centro historico of Xela, Taco Bell has risen from the ashes of the fire that gutted several businesses across from Paisaje Enriquez in 2015.

There’s garish fluorescent lighting to reassess whoever you picked up at Shamrock and the strange combination of cleanliness, prestige and professionalism that characterizes fast food joints in Guatemala.The new Taco Bell, however, bodes badly for the food vendors on the square just a few blocks away. It can produce the same foods at similar prices with guarantees of speed, consistency, and quality that they might not be able to match. And you stand a much lower chance of napalming your intestinal tract with a cheesy gordita crunch than you do with a styrofoam plate of garnachas.

No doubt some of the late-night food stands will endure; Dona Bety, who stays open until dawn and keeps a machete next to her pot of beans to scare off robbers, will likely be slinging meat and tortillas when the slow expansion of our dying sun finally envelopes the earth. Even so, the editorial staff at Xelawho reminds you to eat local, support small businesses, and remember that there’s no such thing as ethical consumption under capitalism.

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