Archive for January, 2012

Any Given Afternoon – Reader Photo!!

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Any Given Afternoon by Manolo Romero Escobar

Reader Manolo Romero Escobar captured yet another beautiful, tumultuous-skied afternoon in Parque Central; the municipal building to the left…flags billowing, cops talking “shop” and people going about their business.

Thanks Manolo for sending in your photos!! The last day of the photo “expo” was originally today but please feel free to send me, Luna McCarthy-editor of XDP, your photos of Xela and in the future, they might, just might get posted. All the same information applies as in the original post, so please click this link to see the details!

The Best Part of Feria

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Coconut Sweets by Jose Moreno

For me, any time there is a feria….my favorite part is the food. And as much as I love churros, these jumbo coconut cookies are my all time favorites!

Photo by guest contributor Jose Moreno, text by Luna McCarthy.


Sunday, January 29th, 2012

Publico by Luna McCarthy

One of the things I really appreciate here in Xela, is the fact that there are lots of coin operated publicos (pay phones) all around the city. In many, many countries all around the world that have pay phones, there are only “tarjeta” phones, NOT coin operated phones. As a traveler or someone new to the area, it seems challenging to figure out a pay phone that works only on prepaid cards, especially in a potential emergency. I remember traveling in Serbia and finding only “card” public phones and being utterly confused…and unable to make a call. Thanks Xela for the coin operated pay phones. Now, just a few more garbage cans around the city and we’ll be all set!

Xela Loses a Hero

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

Michael Johnson

Sad news arrived in Xela yesterday, as word started to spread that Michael Johnson, a Xela resident for many years, had passed away in the morning. Michael was a quirky character, known for his love of reading and literature, beautiful ladies and Cabro. As one of Michael’s many friends here in town, I personally have to say he was one of the most talked about and lovable characters that has graced the town of Xela in a long time. One knew that if Michael was around, there would be interesting, intelligent conversation and lots of laughs.

So many of us have always said that Michael had a heart of gold. This was proven in his final act of swimming out and trying to rescue another Xela resident from drowning in the ocean at Tilapita. John had swum out too far and gotten caught in the undertow and Michael, of course, did not hesitate to swim out to attempt to rescue him.

They will both be missed in Xela and sincerest of condolences to their family members.

And Michael…if there wasn’t already Cabro in heaven before, I’m sure there is now. Save a cold one for me Wilbur.

**Photo taken from Facebook.

Cleaning Up – Reader Photo!!

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Cleaning Up by Eddy Elias

There are some fine organizations in the area that work on different projects, usually in more remote villages outside of Xela. This beautiful photo was sent in by reader Eddy Elias and was taken during a Peace Corps project, just outside of Xela in the village of Cajola.

Eddy, thanks so much for sending in your photos!!

**Editor’s note – Don’t forget to send in YOUR photos of Xela, click this link for more details!! The deadline for photos is now Jan. 30, not Jan. 15th as indicated by the link.

What Words Get Used How?

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

"Purity" Creme by Luna McCarthy

Translation is a funny thing. I am always a little surprised by the translation mistakes I see, mostly from Spanish to English, only because I know English much better than Spanish, although I am sure it happens the other way around too.

It’s always a fun experiment with my students to exchange expressions in Spanish and in English, some of them translate quite literally and some don’t. For example, “Better late than never” does translate roughly into “Mejor tarde que nunca”…and is used as an expression in Spanish.

This isn’t always the case. One example would be the Spanish expression “Nada que ver”. In English, this expression is not translated into “Nothing to see” and used in daily conversation. I once had a challenging time trying to explain this to a student and resorted to telling her that REALLY, only the Police use this expression, when there is a car accident and literally there is NOTHING to see (usually followed by the words, “move along”).

This also goes for HOW we use the words in each language. Or, when we use adjectives/nouns or which adjectives/nouns to use. In the above picture, the noun “Purity” has been translated and used as an adjective, which would actually mean something like “used to restore or treat” your purity. As in “Dandruff (noun used as an adjective) Shampoo”, which is used to treat the condition of dandruff.

I’m pretty sure that in this translation, the adjective “pure” is what the manufacturers were thinking, and that this is NOT a creme to treat, restore or medicate a person’s purity (or lack thereof)! I often worry that when I speak Spanish, I am making similar, yet well-intended mistakes…and hopefully someone will tell me if I do!

Lawn Mowers of the Past – Reader Photo!!

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Lawn Mower of the Past by Nora Berens

Another great shot sent in from reader Nora Berens. It is so common to see cows on the country sideroads just outside of Xela. They very efficiently eat the grass on the sides of the narrow roads, which is a two-birds-with-one-stone kind of deal. The cows need a place to graze and the roads don’t get too overgrown with grass and bushes.

***Editor’s note – Don’t forget to send in YOUR photos of Xela, click on this link for more details!! The deadline for photos is now Jan. 30, not Jan. 15th as indicated by the link.

A Few (More) of My Favorite Things

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

A Few (More) of My Favorite Things by Luna McCarthy

Continuing my love of purchasing all things “housey”…La Demo of course, has such a marvelous selection of house-type stuff. I am always finding something there that I didn’t realize that I need, but that I DO need…like a new strainer or kettle or cute little cow mugs or a spoon with holes in it or…well, need I say more?

Traveling Salesmen

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Traveling Salesmen by Luna McCarthy

I personally, LOVE these guys! In a city where there are lots of markets and stalls and vendors, sometimes you just need something delivered to your door. It’s like the Shopping Channel without having to pay for shipping! These door-to-door salesmen (and sometimes women) work so hard, selling everything from plastic containers to shoe racks to brooms to garbage bags. I even bought warm, fresh baked bread from door to door salespeople last week; super yummy. It’s funny, in a country where many of us foreigners who come here, choose to live a life of simplicity…convenience still exists, it just might have a different face than one would expect!

The Old and the New – Reader Photo!!

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

The Old and the New by Nora Berens

This awesome photo was sent in by Nora Berens and I love her caption of it:

“…is a great representation of the personality of Xela. The old character and charm of the house and warm 2-tone paint and (coupled with) the simple graffiti representing the youth of Xela.”

Thanks SO much Nora for sending in your great photos of Xela!

***Editor’s note – Don’t forget to send in YOUR photos of Xela, click on this link for more details!! The deadline for photos is now Jan. 30, not Jan. 15th as indicated by the link.

Domestic Animals

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

Fluffy Guard by Sergio Dominguez

There are so many dogs in the streets of Xela (as in many parts of the world), sometimes it is a bit of a surprise to see them as domestic pets. It is not uncommon for people to have dogs or cats as pets in their house, although the care might seem different than in North America. I know of many people who have dogs in their homes, but the pets are more used for guarding the house and often do not get walked or are confined to the roofs (terrazas) of the houses, which has lead to a (generally tourist spoken) coined phrase “Guatemalan roof-dog”.

Cats often have homes of their own, but the upside for them is that they also utilize an intricate transport system, which runs all along the tops of the houses and allows them to be much more mobile than the house dogs. There is a definite “class system” within the domestic animals here, the dogs stick to the terrazas and the streets, while the cats are “above” it all, swiftly playing and dodging between rooftops.

Of course, there are many people who also have pets in their homes and love them like their children, walking and washing them and taking posed Facebook pictures of them, just like anywhere else in the world. The little fellow in the picture above is one of those lucky doggies who has a doggie companero in the house and the two of them can often be seen wearing puppy sweatshirts on cool mornings.

Photo by guest contributor Sergio Dominguez, text by Luna McCarthy.

La Lovely Luna de Xelaju – Reader Photo!!

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Luna de Xelaju by Camille Swenson

A lovely “layered” shot of La Luna (llena) de Xelaju, sent in by reader Camille Swenson. Many people who haven’t seen photos of this country ask me why I love it here so much, but once they see the pictures, they’re deeply jealous!

Thanks Camille for sending in your wonderful photo!!

Don’t forget to send in your photos of Xela, click on this link for more details!!

***Editor’s note – The deadline for photos is now Jan. 30, not Jan. 15th as indicated by the link.

A Normal Day in the Park – Reader Photo!!

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

A Normal Day in the Park by Manolo Escobar

This is a fantastic capture by one of our readers, Manolo Escobar, who now resides in Toronto, Canada. Thank you so much Manolo for sending in your photos!

Don’t forget to send in your photos of Xela, click on this link for more details!!

***Editor’s note – The deadline for photos is now Jan. 30, not Jan. 15th as indicated by the link.

An Afternoon to Relax

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

An Afternoon to Relax by Jose Moreno

The weather in Xela is temperate enough all year long that if you make time in the day to relax and chill out, the weather will usually comply. During dry season/winter, it can be quite cold overnight (-3 degrees last night), but the afternoons are always lovely and sunny, provided you get somewhere warm as the sun goes down, or you might get very chilled, very quickly.

This family relaxes and the children play at the base of the theatre steps one afternoon, as the sun begins to set.

Photo by guest contributor Jose Moreno; text by Luna McCarthy.

Born Sweet

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Born Sweet by Jose Moreno

So many foods (especially produce) here in Guatemala are forms or variations on foods that are eaten all over the world, while others are specific types of fruits/vegetables/herbs that are only grown here. Can anyone describe what is seen in this bowl and what the flavors might be like?

Photo by guest contributor Jose Moreno, text by Luna McCarthy.