Archive for July, 2011

On a Clear Day

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

On a Clear Day by Luna McCarthy

For any many days as there is rain during rainy season in Xela, there are just as many days of beautiful, profoundly deep blue skies dotted with cotton candy wafts of white clouds slowly floating across the sky. There are so many contrasts in Xela, as there are in Guatemala; the natural beauty and the poverty, for example…this is a land of contrasts. One of my visual favorites however is the constant play of colors in our Xela skies.

All in a Row

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

Motorcycles by Luna McCarthy

3 blue motorcycles all in a row at Benito Juarez Park. I remember years ago when I studied Interior Design, there had been a study done in which it had been determined that the eye processes multiple objects in groups of threes, much more easily than groups of any other number. Do you think that’s true?

Xelapan’s 30th Anniversary

Friday, July 29th, 2011

Calvario Xelapan by Luna McCarthy

Saturday, July 23rd was Xelapan’s 30th anniversary. There was a parade replete with dancing, “flag-throwing” girls, a marching band and clowns. A 30 metre cake had been baked and laid out in front of the Municipal Building, with many of the bakers standing behind their work of art. The cake was decorated like a train and covered with photos of all of the Xelapan locations in Xela; the above picture is of the Calvario location. Tons of people turned out to see the parade and to celebrate by taking pictures and eating cake. Happy Birthday Xelapan!!

A Look to the Right

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

A Look to the Right by Luna McCarthy

Don’t you just love the moments in your daily world, when you look to the left or the right and see a perfectly picturesque still life?

When I Grow Up

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

When I Grow Up by Luna McCarthy

I enjoy seeing people deep in thought; I always wonder what it might be that the person is thinking. This boy stands absorbed in thought as he looks over the railing at the top of Baul. Is he thinking about what he will be when he grows up? Is he thinking about what might be for dinner tonight or worried about a friend who is in the hospital…? He might even be planning some small revenge on his brother for breaking his favorite toy. Only he and perhaps the birds that fly just overhead of the mountain will ever know.

Up With the Sun

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

Up With the Sun by Luna McCarthy

Very early morning shot of the city, as the fog rolls in and the roosters crow.

Stairway to Heaven…?

Monday, July 25th, 2011

Stairs by Luna McCarthy

Xela is a city full of ups and downs. Up onto the sidewalk and down onto the street, up onto a curb or down the stairs at Parque Central. One of the things I hear tourists mention is that Xela seems to resemble more of a European town in some of it’s architectural designs, including the stairways that surround landmarks, churches and monuments. Can anyone guess where these stairs are located?

Trama Textiles

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

Trama Textiles by Luna McCarthy

Xela is a simmering pot full of fantastic organizations and a city well-known for volunteer opportunities and diversity of programs. As most of you know, travelers come from far and wide to learn Spanish and to volunteer. One of the many terrific organizations here is Trama Textiles, an association of female weavers who sell their products at reasonable prices, ensuring fair wages to the craftspeople and also offering weaving classes for anyone interested in learning about traditional weaving methods. You can find more information about Trama at their website:

Time to Celebrate!!!

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

Deliciosos by Luna McCarthy

Today is my birthday and while, yes, I am a bit of an attention seeker (tongue-in-cheek), I also wanted to take this time to make an announcement about an upcoming event in Xela (that I am very excited about!!). My business partner and I will be opening a new business close to the Municipal Theatre in September and although we still have about 6 weeks before we open, we have been working incredibly hard behind the scenes for months now. We will be opening an exclusive dessert lounge and art gallery near 14 Avenida and 2 Calle. (And yes the cupcakes in the photo are “mine”). Our business, Moonkat Guatemala, will be a social enterprise, supporting 3 local NGO’s that are very dear to us. You can find more information on our Facebook page at: Moonkat Guatemala on Facebook

The “Other” Teatro

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

The "Other" Teatro by Luna McCarthy

I mentioned in a previous post that there are so many interesting tombs in the Calvario Cemetery, including a replica of the Municipal Theatre. Places like this intrigue me, as the story behind the structure is largely unknown. I prefer to think that this may be a shrine to a beloved wife or lover, one whose beauty was unmatched at the time of her death; perhaps like a smaller, Guatemalan version of the Taj Mahal. Or perhaps this tomb houses the founder of the Teatro…does anyone know the ‘true’ story behind this lovely replica?

Just Another Day at the Office

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

Eggs and Bananas by Luna McCarthy

One of the first things I noticed and admired about Guatemalans when I arrived here almost 3 years ago, was how hard working so many of them are. These ladies, like so many others are working in the market, which means getting the children up in the mornings, cooking and eating breakfast, getting the kids either off to school or to Grandma’s house, or taking them with them to the market. The vendors sell all day, then leave between 3:00 and 5:00 or 6:00, depending on their location and/or business. If the vendors are women, they are going home to cook dinner, do the laundry (often by hand in the pilla) and clean their houses. Seeing these types of routines sometimes makes me think of the days when I used to complain that I had too much to do and didn’t have time to watch my favorite tv show when I wanted; how trivial! If you’re reading this post (obviously on a computer) you’ve got lots to be thankful for, as do I.


Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Graffiti by Luna McCarthy

Graffiti is such a personal style of art. Some of it is offensive, some is quite beautiful, while yet other graffiti is indecipherable. If you are a graffiti fan, there is certainly no shortage of it in Xela!

Beautiful Bloom on a Stormy Day

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Purple Bloom by Luna McCarthy

Taken in Parque Central, this purple blossom stands in contrast against the gloomy, pre-storm Xela sky.

Trece Avenida

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Trece Avenida by Luna McCarthy

This building sits on the corner of 13 Avenida and 5 Calle. I have seen a number of businesses that have been located in the main floor over the last few years. If you have been to Xela or live here, do you know what this building originally was? The architecture is fascinating and it almost has a “cinema” feel to it. I do know that Gutierrez is a major local family name, but beyond that, I do not know any of the history of the building. If you know anything about it, please leave a comment and enlighten me!

I’m Right Behind You

Sunday, July 17th, 2011

Right Behind You by Luna McCarthy

If you ever walk in the Minerva Terminal Market, there are so many sights, sounds and smells to take in; the market is a sensory overload of colors, fragrances, music, animals and people. Then again, if you get caught in the market on a super busy day, in a throng of people trying to get from the front of the market to the back, this might be all you see!