It is official: The California avocado is from La Antigua Guatemala. I had mentioned a couple of times that antigüeños are known as Panzas Verdes (green bellies) because of all the avocados they eat (see trivia 2) and that one Wilson Popenoe took the antigüeño avocado to California (see trivia 3). Thanks to an email from Guy from Inner Diablog, a Guatemalan blog published from the U.K., who alerted me about an avocado monument around El Calvario Church on the Walter Williams road to San Juan del Obispo. Well, I drove several times around the area and I did not find such monument, but I did find the Walter William Road monument just outside El Calvario Church. So back to hunting for the avocado monument I asked my good friend and ever-flowing source of antigüeño trivia, JM Magaña, about the location of the avocado monument and he told me it was right there in Central Park, right across the La Antigua Guatemala Cathedral. Boy oh boy, Parque Central is full plain-view secrets. Okay, so this is the short version of how I found out that the California Avocado is really from La Antigua Guatemala. Below you can see the plaque planted right in Central Park and its location relative the Antigua Guatemala Cathedral.
I guess not all the gossip around Antigua is untrue. Another piece of hearsay is that the novel El Papa Verde (The Green Pope) by Miguel Ángel Asturias, 1967 Nobel Prize in Literature, based its main character in Frederick Wilson Popenoe, who worked for the United Fruit Company and lived at Casa Popenoe. The Green Pope is part of Miguel Ángel Asturias The Banana Trilogy, three books (novels) about what the horrible things the United Fruit Company did in Central America. From avocados to bananas, history repeats itself. Read on at to learn what the UFCO, now known as Chiquita Brands International, Inc. is doing at present in Colombia. Please, don’t eat Chiquita Bananas!
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