Xela Fair has scope like none other in Guatemala

Xela feria 2011 (photo by Dave Fox)

Xela’s annual feria came to a close the weekend of Sept. 17-18, and it was everything Guatemala has come to expect from the nation’s premiere Independence Day celebration. Everything offered won’t be new to a traveler who’s at least trolled the occasional market: fruit and knick-knacks, dance troupes and shows, and carnival rides that may have been assembled with scrap […]

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Guatemala noisily celebrates its 190th birthday

Celebration in La Antigua Guatemala

Celebrating their nation’s 190th Independence Day, Guatemalans streamed into streets and central squares across the country on Thursday, Sept. 15, to enjoy parades, music, food and fireworks. Communities large and small marked the occasion with torch-bearing runners, drumbeats of school bands, concerts and speeches. Food vendors served a mouth-watering variety of dishes as locals and tourists alike joined the annual […]

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Guatemalan Bananas

by Kevin García There are many varieties of bananas in Guatemala. Bananas are very tasty, complete fruits; they are easy to digest and have many nutrients, such as vitamins A, B, C, E, calcium, magnesium, silicon, phosphorus, sulfur, iron and sodium. They are particularly rich in vitamin B6, folic acid and potassium. The bananas most commonly found in Guatemala are Cavendish […]

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Tecún Umán Monument

Tecún Umán Monument (photo by Johannes Blijdenstein)

Heralded as Guatemala’s national hero, Tecún Umán is a symbol of indigenous resistance, a legendary figure of Kaqchikel history who led his people into battle against the Spanish conquest of the Guatemalan Highlands in 1524 and refused to surrender. Remembered for his bravery and dignity—fighting to protect his land and encouraging his people to do the same—he was defeated by […]

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ORGANICA: A discovery center for amazing products

With two stores in Guatemala City, Organica has opened a location in La Antigua Guatemala. It’s like a discovery center for amazing products! Looking for Bragg all-purpose seasoning—look no further! Eco-friendly cleaning supplies, dish and laundry detergent, body washes, hygiene, toothpaste—they have it. Healthy cereals and almond milk—in stock! DEET-free bug repellant—check! Natural energy drinks? Yep, they carry several brands […]

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RABIN AJAU UPDATE: A Princess is Crowned

Selected from a field of some 80 young Maya women, Rosa Lidia Aguaré Castro, from Santa Lucía La Reforma, Totonicapán, is the new Rabin Ajau (Daughter of the King) for 2011-2012. The highlight of the annual National Folkloric Festival in Cobán, the magical pageant was conducted July 30 at the sports stadium field house. In addition to heartfelt presentations by […]

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Civic fair draws a crowd in La Antigua

Libre al Viento

Musicians, artists, NGOs and community groups were among participants in Libre al Viento, a festival of civic and cultural activities that was held Saturday, Sept. 3, at the Palace of the Captains General in La Antigua Guatemala. Antigüeños and tourists alike streamed through the palace throughout the day to enjoy the activities and displays, which included an array of restaurants […]

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Drums

Tambores (photo: Leonel Mijangos - EnAntigua.com)

Loud, proud bass drumbeats in school parades; sad, slow beats of mourning in funeral processions; rapid, staccato snare drum ruffles accompanying glockenspiel chimes: Drums are part of human culture worldwide, but Guatemalan drumbeating is especially vigorous, more than ever in this month of patriotic celebrations. Archaeologists have uncovered many pieces of unadorned drums in digs into the oldest of Mayan […]

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United States names new Guatemala ambassador

Arnold A. Chacón (photo courtesy of U.S. Embassy)

U.S. President Barack Obama has named Arnold A. Chacón, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, as ambassador to Guatemala, succeeding Stephen G. McFarland, who held the post since 2008. Officially he remains a U.S. designee until his credentials are accepted by the Guatemalan government. Chacón, whose nomination was confirmed last month by the U.S. Senate, had been deputy […]

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Red-letter Days

Guatemala's flag

This month is doubly patriotic Brace for a double dose of patriotic fervor this month in Guatemala. In addition to the Sept. 11 national elections (see page 54), Guatemala celebrates its 190th Independence Day on Sept. 15 with ear-shattering fireworks, resounding drumbeats from marching bands, festive concerts and more. Guatemala is hardly alone in its jubilation this day—also celebrating their […]

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A Museum for Kids

Supervised exhibits include paper making, recycling, giant bubbles and even a micro city.

El Museo de los Niños, Zone 13, Guatemala City If the motto of most museums seems to be: “Look but don’t touch,” el Museo de los Niños in Guatemala City is the other extreme. Located in Zone 13, the center opened in February 2000 and has since welcomed more than 1.5 million schoolchildren from all over Guatemala. Through an assortment […]

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Creepy Carp Haunt the Lake

Creepy Carp Haunt the Lake

As if the ingress of bully bass to Lake Atitlán were not bad enough (see Revue August 2011, Lake Views, page 88), another alien may be even more harmful. At least since 2002, carp of the genus Cyprinus have been appearing in fishermen’s trawling nets. No one knows when they got there, nor what to do about them. “They have […]

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Unicorn Hunting

A photographic quest to the upper cloud forest on Atitlán Volcano’s southern flank in search of the rare and elusive

A photographic quest to the upper cloud forest on Atitlán Volcano’s southern flank in search of the rare and elusive Oreophasis derbianus I reached for my cell phone to turn off the alarm: 12:30 a.m., time to get started. I lit the stove and put some water on for coffee. A few minutes later there was a knock on my […]

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What are the Guatemalan elections for this month?

Guatemala holds national elections on Sept. 11 with ballots for president / vice president, 158 departmental Congress members (diputados) and 333 mayors (alcaldes)—each with a four-year term—plus a ballot for 20 members for the Central American Parliament (PARLACEN) with a five-year term. The 1986 Constitution limits the presidency to one term. Congress members and mayors may run for re-election. Guatemala has […]

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Guatemala & Population

Guatemala’s 1950 population of 2.9 million has skyrocketed to nearly 14.5 million people, and at the current growth rate is expected to double within the next 30 years. Last month’s Revue included an important article, Green Gospel by Thor Janson, which highlighted the environmental damage traditional slash-and-burn farming is causing in Guatemala and elsewhere. He appropriately emphasized the need for […]

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September 2011 in Revue Magazine

Flag bearer by Leonel Mijangos - EnAntigua.com

September is always a festive month with Guatemala’s Independence Day on the 15th. Expect lots of fireworks, parades, music and events as Guatemala celebrates 190 years of independence (page 15). And with presidential elections coming up on Sept. 11, this month will be especially significant (page 54). Also in this issue: Unicorns in Guatemala? Conservationist / photographer Thor Janson reports […]

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