Archive for June, 2011

Please, Return to Me…

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Candles Burning by Luna McCarthy

Candles burn brightly at the base of Vanushca’s tomb in the Calvario Cemetery. There was a beseeching prayer asking for the return of a loved one, written above the candles, but out of respect for the author, I didn’t photograph the prayer itself.

Ready for My Close-Up

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

El Teatro by Luna McCarthy

If the Cathedral downtown is one of the most photographed buildings in the city, the Municipal Theatre must be one of the second most photographed. The design of the edifice and the lines of the columns and the stairs, pose and wait for the travelers to come and shoot some memories to take home or to post on their blogs. She is like a beautiful woman, wearing just the right accessories and waiting for the right suitor to come by and sweep her off her feet.

People Watching

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Crowd by Luna McCarthy

There is something fascinating about “people watching”. For anyone who has ever sat in the park and watched people walk by or watched the other people-watchers, you know exactly what I mean. Photos catch tiny moments in time and expressions that flash by so quickly, we don’t even realize they have happened. What do you think each of these people are thinking?

It Takes All Kinds

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Robles Church by Luna McCarthy

This church is located out near the Hospital Robles. The colors and the funky architecture stopped me in my tracks. Xela is certainly full of beautiful and historic buildings, but true diversity comes not just from different religions, but different kinds of churches too.

Que Monadas!!

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

Girl Goodies by Luna McCarthy

One of the most colorful shops close to the centre is Que Monadas (What Lovely Things). It is a virtual heaven for women seeking accessories of any kind. Chock to the brim full of belts, scarves, sunglasses, hair clips and jewelry galore, this shop is a buffet of color and pattern!

A Child’s Face

Saturday, June 25th, 2011

A Child's Face by Luna McCarthy

There is nothing quite like a child’s face to express pure emotion. Whether it is happiness, anger, tragedy or longing, a young child’s face does not yet know how to lie.

Sarah’s Sprouts

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Lentil Sprouts by Luna McCarthy

One of the challenging things about being an ex-pat living in Guatemala is the adjustment to the local food; or more precisely the absence of certain foods. Those of us who choose to live here generally love the food, perhaps having eaten variations of it in our own countries. But sometimes there are things that we miss. Personally, I miss West Coast Canadian sushi, for other people it is other things.

Sometimes ex-pats get creative looking for substitutes for the foods they were used to in their countries of origin…these are lentils sprouts, being “sprouted” by an ex-pat who has lived in Xela for about 4 years. In many countries bean sprouts are a fabulous alternative to lettuce, and although they can be purchased in Guatemala, they are not common. After a little research, this ex-pat is trying ‘sprouting’ with different kinds of beans. These sprouts tasted a bit like snow peas, sweet and crunchy!

Female Warrior

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

Female Warrior by Luna McCarthy

The female face of a statue in front of the Municipal Teatro stares off into the distance. Is she longing for a different future, dreaming of freedom or pining for the man she loves? Does anyone know the story behind this statue?

Does Anyone Know Where I Can Get a Hat?

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

Gorros by Luna McCarthy

Ball caps are super popular here and at times you will even see women in full traje wearing a ball cap to shelter their eyes from the sun!

Minerva Temple

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Minerva Temple by Luna McCarthy

Minerva Temple stands in the soft glow of a cloudy afternoon. The temple is one of those places that many working class people pass every day, but have rarely gone into. Students and local vendors hang out in the shade of the temple on hot days, or when they need to run for cover from the torrential afternoon rains.

PC vs. PP

Monday, June 20th, 2011

Pinulito by Luna McCarthy

Other than the rivalry between futbol teams, there is another big rivalry in Xela; the rivalry between Pollo Campero and Pollo Pinulito. Fried chicken is exceptionally popular here and there are many places along the street where you can get some fried-up goodness. But if you ask the locals where they prefer to buy their chicken, they will either say “Pollo Campero” or “Pinulito” or “Meh, anywhere”. But for a “little guy” to compete with a national chain restaurant, it must be pretty impressive…there is even a Facebook page dedicated to Pollo Pinulito! Which do you prefer?

As The Clouds Roll In…

Sunday, June 19th, 2011

Rolling In...

The Calvario cemetery is one of the most beautiful places in Xela, in my opinion; especially on a clear day when you can see for what feels like forever. To sit in peace and watch the white clouds billow over top of and around Santa Maria is one of the most calming experiences possible.

Just Hanging Out

Saturday, June 18th, 2011

Three boys in their school uniforms chill out and compare notes on a school project, as they sit in Parque Central. Then again, they could be checking to see if any one of them has the phone number of that cute new girl in their class.

Pacas Are a Girl’s Best Friend

Friday, June 17th, 2011

Paca by Luna McCarthy

As an avid second-hand shopper, I was thrilled to arrive in Xela to find that the second-hand clothing business is thriving here. While there are some amazing new clothing stores, there is nothing better for some shoppers, than to root through piles of clothing that you can buy for a fraction of the price of new. There are good “paca” areas near the Demo, in Calvario and of course, in the Minerva Terminal Market.

I Spy with My Little Eye

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Little Birdie by Luna McCarthy

There is so much beauty in the world, not just in Xela. Most of the time, it is just a matter of stopping to notice what already exists around us. This little fellow was hanging out in the courtyard of the Municipal Teatro, begging me to take his picture. He actually hopped around until I took notice of him, then stood perfectly still for his big moment.