Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I love Xela

Hate New York City its cold and its damp,
And all the people dressed like monkeys,
Lets leave Chicago to the eskimos,
Randy Newman, I Love LA

It´s about a 15 minute walk from my house to the Central Parque. The hub of the old part of the city, it's a well kept beehive of activity.

Within a few minutes walk are a large variety of restaurants serving everything from traditional local dishes to middle eastern, Indian, Mexican, and Chinese food. Mc Donalds is right on the square, pizza just down the street and a choice of bakeries who provide the bread eaten in most local homes. There's a variety of bars, clubs and coffee houses with live music, salsa dancing, DJ´s, internet juke boxes, and probably anything else you might want, even local rock bands in addition to tradional trova and mariachi. Between the local universities and the kids from north america and europe coming to learn spanish you might think you were anywhere but ''a third world country''.

The next stop is a small park devoted to Simon Bolivar the George Washington of Latin America. There are small landscaped areas with flowers out of sight.

These Kitty´s are advertising thread to a very active community of weavers. An ancient mayan art that continues with few changes today.This advertisement and many others are painted on the wall, not printed and pasted.

Had to put this last one in for mi hermana a big Frida Kahlo fan. A stationary store just ahead. In Guatemala the government provides no educational materials for the children so parents must purchase whatever pencils, notebooks, workbooks, etc. to the best of their ability. There are dozens of these spread across every barrio in the city. From little more than closets to bigger stores in more commercial areas.

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