Archive for August 1st, 2009
text and photos by Michael Sherer Set at the northern end of the enormous Plaza Mayor, Guatemala’s National Palace is the origin of all the roads in the Republic with a spot known as Kilómetro Cero. Two and half miles north of the gleaming chrome-and-glass towers that line the Avenida La Reforma, the edifice is [...]
Part III: University of San Carlos Medical School By the end of the 17th century, six hospitals had been founded in Guatemala. But, lacking scientific information and methods, hospitals provided little more than refuge or asylum. Sickness and cultural attitudes toward it were a social problem. In addition, the times were characterized by conflict between [...]
Given his age, 75, you’d think anthropologist Robert Hinshaw would want to settle back with one of those Scandanavian vodkas he occasionally enjoys and retire to his Colorado mountain retreat. Instead, he wants to make a difference in this world, as “payback” for all he’s received. He explains: “Gilbert White, the late geographer and a [...]
Twenty months after her first and, to date, sole visit to Guatemala, my niece Holly Myrick remains stricken by Guatemala. In March she did her seventh-grade country report, and she could have chosen any of Earth’s 197 sovereignties. Reader, you guessed it—she didn’t choose Djibouti. It helped to have a Guatemala expert (so reputed) in [...]
If Copán is a quarter-sized version of La Antigua Guatemala, San Cristóbal de las Casas, one of the few remaining colonial gems of Mexico (founded in 1528) is Antigua times three. And, whereas the good people of Antigua seem to revere their city’s signs of age, in San Cristóbal, they have painted, patched and applied mascara. The inner center of the city is designed for walking, shopping and eating, with several streets closed to cars.
There is a forgotten population in Guatemala: the equine population. The Foundation for Equine Welfare in Guatemala, known as ESAP, reports that the Guatemalan government has not included more than 250,000 equines in the country’s census since 2003. For six years, horses, mules and donkeys have been forgotten by the government, and ESAP says that [...]
First, find a comfortable bench right in the middle of things, in front of the old National Palace and the Metropolitan Cathedral in the center of Guatemala City. Close your eyes. Don’t look at the rich palette of colors around you. (Maybe it’s best to have dark glasses on, so passers-by don’t think you’re asleep.) Don’t sniff. Don’t breathe [...]
As children we stuck fingers in our ears whenever our mothers and grannies expounded on the virtues of disappointments in life—dark clouds lined with silver … doors closing and opening … light a candle instead of complaining about the darkness. Even as adults we turn a deaf ear to such platitudes. When life doesn’t deal [...]
The amp buzzes with a crackling hum through the speakers. Much of the young crowd is already alert and attentive, waiting for the first notes to drop. With a casual confidence he lifts the guitar to his waist and, before you can blink, his fingers launch into an erratic frenzy over the juiced strings, somehow [...]
A collective music project, featuring the diverse songs, sounds and melodies of La Antigua Guatemala, began recently through a serendipitous meeting of one of La Antigua’s much-loved musicians and an Australian engineer. Antonio Jueves, who recently returned to La Antigua from a year of festivals and tours in Europe, and Corrina Grace, who recently moved [...]
The first two rounds of the Salvadoran Surf Circuit took place in June and July. The next events will be held at Playa Punta Mango on Sept. 12 and 13 and at the Playa Mizata on Oct. 24 and 25. The 5th National Circuit Competition and the finals for national ranking will be held at [...]
The caffeine content case The amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee can vary greatly, depending on many factors. We’ll explore a few ideas that will help you to understand a little more about the presence of caffeine in coffee. If you ask 10 people, most will agree that espresso has more caffeine than [...]
PROGRESA is a Quaker-run scholarship/loan program that has been in existence for over 35 years. Jointly sponsored by the Guatemala Friends meeting and a Friends meeting in California, the program helps Guatemalans attend universities and secondary schools. Our focus is on the rural poor who often don’t have access to higher education in their communities. [...]
Kilómetro Cero (Kilometer Zero) is located at the National Palace in the Historical Center of Guatemala City’s Zone 1. From there the distances on all roads in the country are measured. The National Palace is located on the Plaza Mayor, and when you turn the next page writer Michael Sherer will take us on a fun sightseeing tour of this beautiful area.
Our thanks once again to the talented photographer Iván Castro for this month’s cover of the National Palace. August 15th is Guatemala City’s patron saint day. All month the city will be celebrating in honor of the Virgen de la Asunción, including many events in the historic center.