Archive for January, 2011

Farewell

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Farewell

I would like to say goodbye to Xela and XelaDailyPhoto with a picture of the street where my life in Xela started and ended.

Due to a job offer that I received from a local newspaper in Costa Rica, I am leaving Guatemala, without completing many plans that I had in mind. Hopefully, sooner or later I will be back and complete a ll the photography projects that I wanted to do in Guatemala.

About five months ago, when I arrived Xela, I spent my first few days at The Black Cat Hostel and then started working there. I kept working even on my last night in Guatemala and took a shuttle from there to come to Mexico. So this street is literally where I started and ended a story. Now it is time to move on for me.

XelaDailyPhoto will be taken over by Josh Bachman, one of our contributors, who will be living in Xela until May.

I wish you all the best!

Waiting for…

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

Waiting for...

If you can manage to leave your warm and cozy bad early enough in the morning before the stores open, it is likely that you will meet these people who wait in front of Mercado Central (Central Market) for it to open.

Shoeshine

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

Shoeshine

I have been intending to photograph shoeshine guys for a long time. In Missouri, where I come from, we don’t really have shoeshine guys in the streets. However, in Turkey, where I grew up, we have it. So being miles away from home and seeing these little details is one of those small things that puts a smile on my face with a sense of nostalgia.

Almolonga-Zunil Bus Stop

Friday, January 28th, 2011

Almolonga-Zunil Bus Stop

This is one of the stops where you take a bus to Almolonga and Zunil. It is located in front of the gas station in La Rotonda. Almolonga is where the hot springs are and Zunil is where you can visit San Simon/Maximón.

Passed out

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Passed out

Drinking is surely fun, as long as it is within some limits or else it shouldn’t be surprising to pass out/fall asleep at a bench like this guy.

Mariachi in La Democracia

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Mariachi in La Democracia

Two days ago, while I was passing through La Democracia on my way to Centro, I came across this small mariachi band near the vegetable market. As I am getting ready to head to Mexico, this definitely captured my attention.

Mariachi in La Democracia Mariachi in La Democracia

Mario Anibal González

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Mario Anibal Gonzalez

This weekend I was honored to meet this amazing person, Mario Anibal González. Mr. González, 84, from Quetzaltenango, is the founder of the University of San Carlos in Quetzaltenango. His grandson, Giovanni González commented that Mr. González is an economist, politician, columnist for La Hora, the author of the municipal law and most importantly a humanist, who is recognized in the country.

Additionally he is the owner of a big library, that he already donated the half of it to public library in Xela and Guatemala City. Currently, where he lives he only has half of his books, which fill a room. Among those, he has books as old as 154 years old.

Mario Anibal Gonzalez Mario Anibal Gonzalez

50th Anniversary of Bomberos Voluntarios

Monday, January 24th, 2011

50th Anniversary of Bomberos Voluntarios

Bomberos Voluntarios celebrated its 50th anniversary on Sunday morning, with a parade in Xela. Bomberos Voluntarios are capacitated to assist in the cases of fire, rescue and pre-hospitilized situations. You can dial 122 in an emergency situation.

50th Anniversary of Bomberos Voluntarios 50th Anniversary of Bomberos Voluntarios

La Rotonda Bus Station

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

La Rotonda Bus Station

La Rotonda is not really a frequently visited neighborhood by tourists in Xela. However, it is actually quite important as it has a small bus station where you can take the buses to San Andres Xecul Totonicapan, which has this beautiful church, to San Francisco de Los Altos, the town with the big animal market, Salcaja, that has the oldest church in Central America, San Cristobal Totonicapan, that has the second oldest church in Central America (and honestly I think this one is prettier than the oldest one) and most importantly to Cuatro Caminos, where you can do bus transfers to reach your ultimate destination.

p.s: To go to San Cristobal Totonicapan, you need to do a transfer at Cuatro Caminos.

Marimba sculpture

Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

Marimba sculpture

This marimba sculpture, located in La Rotonda is built by sculptor, Adolfo Galeotti Torres, collaborating with other sculptors. It is basically depicting an indigenous woman, dancing on a marimba, the national instrument of Guatemala. A few months ago, Mc Donald’s opened a new branch right in front of this symbolic sculpture.

Iglesia El Calvario

Friday, January 21st, 2011

Iglesia El Calvario

Iglesi El Calvario is one of the gorgeous churches in Xela. It is located in front of the Central Cemetery. Make sure to stop by and see how it is inside. There is a different silence in there which feels quite calm.

Iglesia El Calvario

Decorated Tomb

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Last Post

A doll with a gruesome image is used to decorate the tomb of a little girl at the Central Cemetery of Xela . Gifts like dolls, balls or toy cars are left at the niches of children or young people at the cemetery of this highland city.

This is the last post by our contributor Enrique Hernandez Avila. Today, he is going to Europe to live there.

photo and text by Enrique Hernandez Avila

Mercado Las Flores

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

Mercado Las Flores

As far as I know there are four main markets in Xela, which are Central Market, Mercado Las Flores, La Democracia and Terminal Minerva Market. As most of the visitors stay in the center, Zone 1, Central Market becomes one of the most visited markets.

However, Mercado Las Flores can also be one of frequently visited stops for your grocery shopping. Especially if you are staying or planning to stay at Casa Argentina or have anything to do with Quetzaltrekkers, which is a tour company run by volunteers, located in Casa Argentina, Mercado Las Flores would be your best bet, cuz it is a few blocks from there.

Mercado Las Flores Mercado Las Flores

Nonresistance in San Antonio Sacatepequez

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Nonresistance in San Antonio Sacatepequez

San Antonio Sacatepequez is in the department of San Marcos, but it is the border town with Quetzaltenango. This past weekend, there was celebrations for the day of San Antonio. Yesterday, on the last day of the fiestas, I had a short day trip to this small border town. Like many other saints’ days, there was a big, gorgeous church service and at the end of it, a street party. Of course, hundreds of people had filled the church in this town with their prayers and hymns, that sound beautiful to an outsider.

Because I am a big fan of huilpiles, I was definitely attracted to the pretty designs, which are concentrated on flowers, that this small town has.

What makes San Antonio interesting is that you can make a wish to find your significant other in life with a coin donation. And yes, I made my donation, too. Let’s see how it goes.

Nonresistance in San Antonio Sacatepequez

Nonresistance in San Antonio Sacatepequez Nonresistance in San Antonio Sacatepequez

Nonresistance in San Antonio Sacatepequez Nonresistance in San Antonio Sacatepequez

Day of “Cristo Negro”

Monday, January 17th, 2011

Day of "Cristo Negro"

In 1594, Portuguese sculptor, Quirio Cataño sculpt a Jesus Christ figure upon a request from the Catholic Church in Esquipula. According to one story, the artist used a dark colored wood to sculpt this particular figure to catch a resemblance to the dark skin color of the residents in this region.

Another tale says that it is known as Cristo Nengro, because over 400 years of worship, the wood on which was carved has acquired a dark color like the brown color of the original inhabitants of this region of Guatemala.

Not sure which one is true, but today, mainly in Esquipula, January 15 is celebrated as the day of “Cristo Negro”. While the main address of celebrations is Esquipula, it is also celebrated in Chiquilajá, Quetzaltenango, too. This small town is located near Xela. On a chicken bus of Ruta 11, that can be taken at Parque Benito Juarez in La Democracia, you can reach to this town in 40 minutes.

For further information on the story of Cristo Negro you can read this study or wikipedia article.

Day of "Cristo Negro" Day of "Cristo Negro"

Day of "Cristo Negro" Day of "Cristo Negro"

Day of "Cristo Negro" Day of "Cristo Negro"

Day of "Cristo Negro" Day of "Cristo Negro"