Avoiding vs Evading

Written by Steven Pittser A few tips on U.S. taxpaying and IRA accounts “I haven’t filed taxes for six years— ever since I’ve been down here.” That was the comment from my co-expat from the States, who had just bought me a drink at my favorite bar in La Antigua Guatemala. “I have had income every one of those years, […]

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Sensuous Guatemala: Independence Celebrations!

Independence Day Celebrations by Rudy Girón

The steady beat of the marching drum, the somewhat-less-steady march of student footsteps along the cobblestone, the sudden thump of a mortar, a shell climbing to burst into multicolors of celebration. Any good excuse is a good time for celebration, of course, but September holds a special one: Independence Day on the 15th, and the sounds, smells, tastes and sights […]

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One More Time Tunnel: El Capitol

Predecessor of Edificio Capitol, right, circa 1930; the long gone former Cine Capitol is on the left, across the street. (photo: Sergio Cruz Arteaga)

Thirty years ago metropolitan Guatemala had fewer than half its current 3.6 million people. Today’s well-heeled suburbs in its southeast quadrant were separated from El Centro by receding pastures and gardens. Zone One had long gone to seed, but in the late 1970s an attempt to return it to respectability was launched on Downtown’s main drag, Sexta avenida, between calles […]

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Who is Latin America’s finest scribe?

Portrait of María del Carmen Escobar.

Colombia’s Gabriel García Márquez is the most read. Chile’s Isabel Allende is a top female contender. And so, in 2002, I borrowed a book by each for my wife, thinking that some august literature might quell her post-natal depression. I also bought a book by María del Carmen Escobar. María del Carmen Who? Good question. But the first question—the identity […]

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The Transformation of the Compañía de Jesús

Main patio at Compañía de Jesús Building by Rudy Girón/rudygiron.com

Offering a wide variety of classes and events under its roof, this restored gem receives some 30,000 visitors annually. In May 1992 Spain and Guatemala signed an agreement that launched the restoration of the historic Compañía de Jesús complex, paving the way for the eventual home of the Centro Iberoamericano de Formación (CIF). Located at 3a calle and 6a avenida […]

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Bridging the Divide

Photos from Cooperative for Education (photos: Mary Graham and Holly End)

In their literacy campaign, Cooperative for Education has established 172 textbook programs, 30 computer centers, 39 mini-libraries and 284 scholarships A country of extremes, Guatemala is a land where breathtaking beauty is inseparable from its harsh reality—53 percent of the population makes less than $2 a day. Especially at risk are the indigenous citizens, who make up 60 percent of […]

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Bikeloads of Smiles

Minia Rex Roman and Carlos Guldris in front of Jenny Star Video Rental in La Antigua   (Tomas Cernikovsky)

Two years’ work in Ireland proved fun for a couple from Madrid, but with the New Year 2008 they decided it was time for something different: a seven month, 7,000 mile bike trip from Buenos Aires to Guatemala, ending with lots of smiles in La Antigua when the bikes gave out before the Spaniards did. Minia Rex Roman and Carlos […]

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Where Am I? And What Day Is It?

Here’s a clue: If it hadn’t been for this event, the colonial gem of La Antigua Guatemala arguably might not exist. Here’s an almost contemporary account of the event, and to keep you guessing the place and, more interestingly, the date, the anwers are far below. This has been a year of much rain, and having been raining Thursday, Friday […]

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10 Delicious Desserts in Antigua

Dessert de la Casa (sweet cinnamon-flavored nachos) by Rudy Girón

(in no particular order) Dessert de la Casa (sweet cinnamon-flavored nachos) Monoloco 5a av. sur #6, interior 5 TRES LECHES Quesos y Vinos 1a calle poniente #1 CAPPUCHINO PIE Cafe Condesa West side of Central Park, inside La Casa del Conde TIRAMISU Capt. Bry’s El Pescador Italiano 3a av. norte #1-B CHONGOS ZAMORANOS Fridas 5a av. norte #29, Calle del […]

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Another Fabulous Fruit: Nispero

Known in other countries by the names sapodilla and naseberry, these little orange fruits come from a tree that is a distant member of the rosebush family. In China, Japan and India, níspero trees were used ornamentally as well as for the fruit. For millennia only Asia knew of the níspero, but in the 1800s the tree was introduced to […]

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Just call me Indio

Francisco Quiej calls himself “Indio” by DWC

One of Panajachel’s most colorful and asked-about personages, tourists and locals know him as a master craftsman who sells his own handiwork. Self-promoter, religious huckster, iconoclast, “loco”—Francisco Quiej has been called all these things; none is anywhere near the truth. “Indio” is what he calls himself, even though his fellow Mayas consider the term an insult. This renaming took place […]

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What the Future Brings

The Panchoy Valley is made up of several municipalities in the Guacalate River basin, including La Antigua, Jocotenango, Ciudad Vieja, Santo Domingo Xenacoj and Sumpango. Have you ever wondered what La Antigua and its surrounding areas would be like 50 years from now? Most of the dreamers picture it as a prosperous area, full of culture and tradition, with international […]

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We would like you to know about Hound Heights and why we need your help

Adopt a Pet from Aware (animalaware.org)

Perhaps it’s a stretch to be asking for donations in order to care for injured and abandoned animals when there are so many human needs, yet suffering is suffering, and we’re all called to action in one way or another. Hound Heights, AWARE’S no-kill animal refuge, is currently sheltering 220 dogs and 80 cats. Many puppies and kittens were adopted […]

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Guatetemala’s Olympic Athletes

12 remarkable athletes will be representing Guatemala at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Our best wishes and hopes for success go out to Evelyn Nuñez in the 20 kilometer race walk, José Amado García and Alfredo Arevalo in the 42 kilometer marathon and veteran Luis Bechinie in the 50 kilometer race walk. Also deserving of medals are Eddie Valenzuela in boxing; […]

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