Archive for July, 2012

Education in Guatemala

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Reading at the international book fair.

I keep thinking about the last comment related to Guatemala City readers; what’s going on nationally? well, it turns out, it’s a whole different story:

  • Extreme poverty is one of the factors have the greatest impact on educational coverage.
  • Girls have a lower probability of attending school than boys.
  • Being from the rural area has no strong impact on children from 7 to 12 years. However, for All children from 13 to 18 years their probability to enroll in the system decreases if they reside in this area.
  • Access to basic services has a positive impact. Access to services is also related to the decision to send the school the child by reducing the time spent on housework.

The evaluation of the first degree by USAID in 2004 indicated that only 48.0% of children could read and understand a simple sentence of five words that contains a suitable lexicon, 45.3% met the criterion of sums, 38.6% in subtraction and a 27.5% global criteria of mathematics, showing significant variations between different departments.

The indigenous population was 7 points lower than non-indigenous in reading and 2 points in math, and rural 16 points less in reading and 10 points lower in math against the urban population.


You’re Visiting. Should You Skip Guatemala City?

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

Never fails to bother me reading how dangerous Guatemala City is; travel blogs, they all know about it:  Don’t do this, don’t do that.  Perhaps the only thing that I agree with, is that you go out accompanied with someone who knows those areas, especially if it’s at night.  But lately, if you keep the fear, you are missing some good stuff: Theater, music, writers and so on.

Paseo Cayalá

Friday, July 27th, 2012

I’m still trying to understand this place. I’m so confused.  Perhaps the biggest advantage is that it’s not just a shopping center and traditional housing project. Occasionally there are interesting art exhibitions. Also, I saw some cafes and restaurants that may be useful for work and meetings.  But is not the only project, this whole area is constantly growing.  I’ll show you more in the future.

Do you know Cayalá?  What do you think?

Storytellers at FILGUA

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

FILGUA, The International Book Fair was a fabulous event that took place throughout the week.  I have the feeling that is improving each year, the attendance, is massive.  Guatemalans, at least capitalinos, do read.


Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

I think that I haven’t talked about this awesome post-hardcore guatemalan band: Volver.   They have some of their songs for online download; an interesting fact: they toured the U.S just a few months ago. News you won’t read elsewhere because the underground musical movement in Guatemala, although is quite active, doesn’t receive that much attention from traditional media.

Volver Reprogramar/Activar from Hugo Muralles on Vimeo.

Meet me at Esperanto Bar in Zona Viva

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

There’s somethin’ different about Esperanto, a well-known bar located in in the Zona Viva of Zona 10 in Guatemala City. Pancho, the owner (left), told us he enjoys the rush and the opportunity to meet people and make them feel comfortable. He has had this landmark venue for over 10 years now, proudly 100% chapin. A lot of interesting people go there: writers, poets, skaters, artists, et al. Good music, good bar, the perfect place to chill out with friends or to meet new people. On the right you can see @esaBocaReloaded and a member of Dr. Tripass  band, Zike.

So, when are we meeting in person at Esperanto Bar? Let’s do a MeetUp there!

Blues Hang Out

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

Not as frequently as I would love to, I have the chance to meet people who enjoy walking as I do. That lost art in the city.

La Séptima

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

The 7th. Avenue, jammed because to the traffic at the end of the afternoon.

House of Tamales

Friday, July 20th, 2012

Far away from security guards and their heavy weaponry, security fences, extortion, competitive market or else, we still keep the tradition of red light in houses that sell tamales on Saturdays.  I always associate tamales with Christmas but also in family birthdays or just a typical weekend. I love tamales with a bit of lemon 🙂  As you know there is a great variety of tamales depending if you are in Mexico or a place in South America, but each country gives it a particular style.I wanted to share a story of tamales but instead I found this poem that I like:

Tamales Chapines

Maíz que se muele en
las faenas de la vida…
Maza hecha con la esencia
de la tierra de los Hombres de maíz…

En un recado previamente
preparado con especies
y hachote…
Se le agrega la carne del gusto,
con aceitunas, pasas y alcaparra
y por su puesto en chilito pimiento,
que sirva de testigo de que cuando
hablo de un exquisito sabor ¡No miento!

Luego cual si fueran bebes
se les envuelve con delicadeza,
en hojas de plátano.

La olla los espera cual si fuera
la cuna que los mantiene calientitos,
a fuego de leña la olla se reviste
morena como mi tierra hecha
arcilla y forjada con trabajo.…

Poco a poco se van cociendo
y el aroma invade las calles,
calles vestidas de fiesta con
pino y manzanilla…
Su sabor único tiene ese ingrediente
que solo conoce el que ha heredado,
la magia y el sabor que llena
de candor la “Navidad Chapina”.

Oxwell L-bu

Natural Textures of Guatemala City

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

While in Guatemala City, gray is the predominant color, you have to look twice to find variety.

Freelance Diaries: Get out there, speak, listen

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

She is bright, creative and a talented graphic designer, illustrator, copy-editor, to mention some of her most recent activities.  Very positive attitude that I must confess, turns contagious: Súa Agapé.

We had the chance to talk about the work she has done for a few magazines over the past years.  How much she apreciate reading, music, pets and drawing. Súa was kind enough to let me see her sketch book.

A recurring theme with artists is happiness, or the ability to be happy, actually. She’s constantly, challenging herself. Leaving the comfort zone. Why you should lose your head?.
She knows what she’s talking about.

If you want to keep track of creative people in Guatemala City, there you have it. You should follow her website, twitter or facebook.

Some of my favorites:

Súa, Thank you for sharing 🙂

Freelancing Diaries: Quality of Life

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

This is exactly what you’re doing: Improving your quality of life.  Right now, in the table in front of me, some young people made this comment about daily work:  “Nobody is thanking you for the work that you do anyway”  Thats how many people think about their professional development in our country.  Maybe its true, but you shouldn’t be stuck in that state of mind; the opposite is true:  being a freelance, gives you the chance to choose with whom you want to work and I can’t even tell you how many great people you’ll meet.

In fact, you’d be surprised to know that many entrepreneurs and small business are interested in working with independent people.  I guess is a plus and you can see the point.  In Guatemala nobody is talking about improving life quality, the discussion focuses on how to perpetuate the system.

After having a workday of six hours or less, you’re entitled to attend some first-class movie projection or read an e-book on a Tuesday afternoon, as in the picture.  You deserve it.  And thats exactly what I’m planning to do 🙂