Archive for September, 2013

Seafood Platter

Monday, September 30th, 2013

This is at one of the few fine seafood restaurants in Guatemala City that I know of.
Frutos del Mar the platter is called, and make sure you finish it all.
Seafood Platter

Progress. (?)

Sunday, September 29th, 2013

A great deal of Guatemalans usually mistake Progress and or Development with Urbanization.
Progress –implying Urbanizing- is good, houses, shopping malls, hydroelectric plants, etc. are better than useless patches of dirt. That’s the common mindset.
As I child I lived in front of this small patch of forest, one of the few close to Guatemala City. I used to frequent this forest with friends in search for local fruits: Jocotes, Sandia de Raton (mouse melon, Melothria Scabra), Matasanos (white sapote) and others. As children we used to disturb squirrels (one of the very few places around Guatemala City where they USED TO live wild) and hunted for small tortoise and birds. I know, we were bad!
I left Guatemala and came back seven years later and found a shopping mall had been built (now a Walmart)
I left Guatemala shortly after to comeback eight years later and encountered a series of new gated communities built where some of the remaining patches of trees were.
I’m a business person: Not long ago I saw a for rent sign on one of the windows of this large strip mall. I call the number and had a long conversation with the Realtor. “This is a great opportunity, see the mountains on the back, all this belongs to the same family and they are planning on building five thousand houses on that mountain. He tells me.
Goodbye remaining trees.
Yes, housing is necessary, as business centers are. Aren’t forest (patches of dirt) needed too?
I often finish these kinds of conversations with friends and acquaintances with the following:
I don’t call progress to stopping or diverting a sacred river to generate electricity so you have enough juice to watch TV tonight.
I don’t call progress to destroying a life and splendor giving forest and its inhabitants to temporarily fix our human housing problems.
Oh, on a funny related note: Many of these housing projects advertise themselves as “green” or “Nature surrounded”, but they fail to say that most of these gated communities refer to their green or Nature to small patches of grass in front of these houses, again: small strips of grass on their boulevards, and many times not even local species of grass or plants.
More: Another “Green Community” I was interested in a while ago, promoted itself as green and surrounded by Nature and on their advertising video they show animations of birds flying around the area instead of real ones: None available?
Progress?
Progress?
Progress?

Remnants of Rock Culture

Saturday, September 28th, 2013

Rock Culture is dying down here in Guatemala.
In fact, there is no single good Rock radio station anymore, the last one they tell me changed its style more than three years ago; now they play pop music. But there still some loyal young people out here.
By chance I ended up at this autograph signing by Alan Boguslavsky, former guitar player of one of the most renown Latin America rock bands. The Dream of the Dead, by Alan Boguslavsky.
Alan Boguslavsky

Scratch Tickets

Friday, September 27th, 2013

Scratch Tickets have arrived in Guatemala!
Great, now we can go spend our money on hopeless odds.
As far as I know, this is the only Scratch Ticket in Guatemala, and it became available two months ago.
Scratch Tickets

Street Meal

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

One of the beauties of the Streets and Parks of Guatemala is that you can assemble a full meal with no difficulty.
You can start with a fruit antipasto,
Street Meal
a drink of your choice, including local beer,
Street Meal
your main course; in this case, a perfectly season steak and some scallions,
Street Meal
and as a dessert: Your choice of a Guatemalan Granizada -slush-
Street Meal
or a variety of ice-cream flavors.
Street Meal
Bon Appétit!

Street Fashion

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

Street Fashion, Sixth Avenue, Guatemala City.

Street Fashion

Toll Roads

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

There is only one Toll Road here in Guatemala. I’ve travel this route by bicycle several times and last Sunday I had to travel by car. The price was around $1.94. Not a big deal right? Well, this stretch of road is not more than 18.5 miles, the average price per mile: ¢.10 U.S. Dollars. Almost as expensive as those toll roads in the U.S.A. (¢20 U.S. Dollars per mile). Not a big deal right, except for: the average income in the U.S. is around $2,300 monthly and the Guatemalan average monthly income is around $350.
Don’t you love our Corporatocracy!?
Toll Roads

Desayuno Chapín

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

I know you all have seen more elegant, more sophisticated, more abundant and richer versions of a Desayuno Chapín -Guatemalan Breakfast-.
There is not set of rules nor it is written in stone what a Desayuno Chapín should be, or should contain. In my opinion, the Desayuno Chapín should reflect Authenticness -my word-, devotion to aboriginal ingredients, and the most important; Practicality. Again, in my opinion; Desayuno Chapín is about what’s practical but still tasty, not about presentation or fanciness. And what I show you here is what a Desayuno Chapín is and has been for the largest segment of the population, especially in the countryside.
And I’ll have this Desayuno Chapín go against any at a distinguished restaurant.
Que ricos estan los frijoles -So tasty are them Frijoles- I told the female attending the shop. Es que estan hechos con cariño -It is because they are made with love/passion/affection- she tells me. That’s something you are not likely to get at a fancy restaurant.
Desayuno Chapin

Park Art

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

OK, for this one I’m going to require assistance.
I’ve been to many towns, big and small throughout the country and I’ve seen this Water-Jar style sculpture. This particular one is at a park on Sixth Avenue, Zone 1, Guatemala City.
Is there a social context about this theme? I’ve asked people around the parks where I’ve seen them but everyone is as clueless as I am.
Can Anyone elaborate on this?
Park Sculpture

Guatemalan Ingenuity

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

This is something I stumble upon yesterday.
Very inventive way to put to use old bicycles and transformed them into to something useful.
They have the shop in the province of Chimaltenango, the town of San Andres Itzapa. Check’m out sometime.
Guatemalan Ingenuity

Bicycle Event, World Car Free Day

Sunday, September 22nd, 2013

World Car Free Day, Guatemala.
I was very impressed by the amount of people who showed up.
This time, I’ll let photos speak for themselves.
Enjoy.
I rode from my house in Villa Nueva, a good 10.8 miles to the event, plus a 5 miles loop we did around downtown Guatemala and back to Campo de Marte, and I rode back to my house.
Campo Marte is accessible on a short 30-45 minutes bicycle ride from any of Guatemala City’s Zones and some people showed up driving their motor vehicles with the bike mounted. Come on! It was an event to encourage you to ride your bike to it. Failed!
Besides that, everything was great. I felt an amazing sense of camaraderie.
World Car Free Day, Guatemala

Tomato Farm

Saturday, September 21st, 2013

Here are some photos of a tomato farm trip today. I know, I got no many tomatoes photos, they are out of season but I did find interesting things around.
This plantation is very close to my house, a short 30 minutes bike ride (an hour if you don’t have the right directions).
Oh, there is a giant 500 hundred years old Ceiba at the plantation. One of the owners tells me it is a Ceiba Costarrisence -Costa Rican Ceiba- but I was trying to find that species online but I did not find it.
Tomato Plantation