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January 2008

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Mexican Shrimp Ceviches in La Antigua Guatemala






Okay, all my dear ceviche-loving friends (you know who you are), I have already placed the order for the shrimp ceviches and bought enough of the Guatemalan brews known as Moza and Brahva Beats. I know Manolo is bringing Stella Artois and Steam Whistle; Guy is bringing New Castle and Guinness; Jerry B is bringing a micro-brewery sampler from AleSmith; Edgar and Carmen are bringing Cubas Libres and whatever beer Edgar likes; El Canche is bringing himself out of piles photo memory chips and Guatemalan slavery-work schedules. Everyone is invited to this huge ceviche party, but you better hurry because the lady is putting the final ingredients on the Mexican shrimp ceviches available in La Antigua Guatemala. If you don’t like the Mexican ceviches, we can alway go to La Naranja Pelada or Blanqui Sevicherí­a for the sacred dish.







Guatemalan Cuisine: Rice and Beans






It was the Garí­funas, the black Guatemalans living in the Caribbean shores of Lí­vingston and Puerto Barrios, Izabal, who made an exquisite meal from rice, beans, coconut milk, tomatoes and herbs. Garí­funas called it Rice and Beans; yes, in English. This meal has several variations and names in the different Caribbean communities. For instance in Cuba, Rice and Beansdish is known as Moros y Cristianos (Moors and Christians).







Guatemalan Cuisine: Tapado






The tapado (covered) dish comes from the Guatemalan Caribbean region of Lí­vingston, in the department of Izabal. Lí­vingston’s population is made up by Black Guatemalans known as Garí­funas, Q’eqchi’ Maya and Mestizos (mixed) and it’s precisely this mixture that is necessary to create such a delicacy. If you are in La Antigua Guatemala, you can only find this dish at El Pelí­cano Dorado (I think). According to Guy, the ceviche connoisseur, you can also find a great ceviche at El Pelí­cano Dorado.







The Best Ceviche in the World






This is the Vuelve a la vida seviche (Come back to life ceviche) from the Blanqui Sevicheria in Escuintla City, a town about 40 minutes from La Antigua Guatemala. I know Manolo, Guy, Pirata Cojo, El Canche and other will have fond memories and things to say about this ceviche photo. Let their comments come…







YO-YO: The Inauguration






This is what the inauguration of the YO-YO: retratos y autoretratos the photo exhibit looked like inside the Sala Marco Augusto Quiroa …




YO-YO: The Sign






This is the welcoming display sign that you can find in the hallway that connects the underground parking lot and the Hotel-Museo Casa Santo Domingo in La Antigua Guatemala. Although, there is no reference element in the picture to give you an idea of the size of the sign, I can tell you is very big; the red background of the display must be about 3 meters by 2 meters (9 feet by 6 feet).







YO-YO: The Catalog






YO-YO: retratos y autoretratos exhibit received so many accolades and magnificent reviews by the critics that it prompted Carlos Woods, owner of the gallery, and his curatorial team to pump even more oxygen by bringing the photo exhibition to one of the most important venues in La Antigua Guatemala and to create a catalog to record the fist YO-YO. This impressively beautiful catalog is printed on an European paper size (24 cm. x 36.5 cm or 9.5 in. x 14.5 in) and was designed by Paola Beverini. This is the second catalog that is put out by the Carlos Woods Gallery, but the first that will be on sale. I recommend its purchase as soon as it hits the shelves.







YO-YO: Two yo-yos






The YO-YO: retratos y autoretratos (portraits and self-portraits) takes its playful name in the fact that in Spanish the YO means I. So yo-yo means I and I which was the premise for this photographic exhibit where participants were asked to show their other I side.

The YO-YO: retratos y autoretratos exhibit has a wide array of portraits and self-portraits of many key players in the Guatemalan culture scene. Participants were asked to submit a portrait or self-portrait as they envisioned themselves or another facet of their personality they would like to show.







YO-YO: The yo-yos






Under the name of YO-YO: retratos y autoretratos (portraits and self-portraits) the Carlos Woods Gallery is presenting its very successful photography exhibit in the Sala Marco Augusto Quiroa of Paseo de los Museos in the Hotel-Museo Casa Santo Domingo in La Antigua Guatemala.

The photo of the hanging yo-yos above is part of one of the teaser window displays to make you go visit the exhibit inside the Marco Augusto Quiroa gallery in Hotel-Museo Casa Santo Domingo. You can find this yo-yos window display in the hallway that connects the underground parking lot and the hotel.







Cups of Light






Exactly one week ago, these cups were fill with light first, then happiness and finally with wine. These cups were used in the inauguration of the new Mayor of La Antigua Guatemala, Dr. Adolfo Vivar of Unión de Nacional de la Esperanza (UNE), and to wave goodbye forever and ever and never again to the former ‘mayor’ Antonio Siliezar; one the worst episodes in La Antigua Guatemala’s City Hall.







Street photography or voyeurism?






I believe that I do tend to be a voyeur or obsessive observer when it comes to capture the most natural street life scenes. My goal is to capture the intriguing split-second scene. I do not like posed photograph, especially posed street photos because once the subject is aware of the lens the natural feel is lost; the window that I open for you into the daily life of La Antigua Guatemala is broken.







Having the Sun for Lunch






Yes Manolo, the weather gods are on LAG side. Above you see a group of tourist having the Sun for lunch and enjoying too. Yes the temperate weather gods have been given La Antigua Guatemala temperatures between 68 and 74 degrees Fahrenheit in the harshest Winter month. Oh boy, life is wonderful in La Antigua Guatemala…







Cell Phone Pics: The couple






The cellular telephone industry is one of the fastest growing industries and they just broke a new record for Latin America: 10 million 150 thousand users or the equivalent of 75% of the population has now an “active cellphone”. The key word here is: Active. This makes Guatemala one of the most connected countries in Latin America. (Source: Guatemala bate récord de usuarios de telefoní­a móvil at elPeriódico {ES}).







Un poco de todo…






Un poco de todo or A little of everything could be the most appropriate description for La Antigua Guatemala’s Central Park. Interestingly enough, we call it central park or El Parque Central although its official name is La Plaza Mayor (The Main Plaza).







God and the Laptop






It is incredible that one time women, nuns to be more specific, were not allowed contact with the outside world. The Arco de Santa Catarina, one of La Antigua Guatemala’s landmark was built to prevent the nuns to be seen by the outsiders, quite possibly men, while they move from side of the street to the other side where they eat or pray; don’t know for sure which one.

I am glad to know that now nuns are allowed to walk freely in search for the best Wi-Fi spot in town so they can update their blogs. 😉







Real People, Real Miracles






That is exactly what Guatemala needs from the new Social Democratic government: Real people making real miracles (or at least real positive changes)!







Celebrations for the New President Álvaro Colom in La Antigua Guatemala






Even though the new Guatemalan President Álvaro Colom Caballeros, a 57-year-old industrial engineer and textile businessman, was sworn in for a 4-year term in Guatemala City in a ceremony at the Miguel Ángel Asturias National Theater, ceremonies and celebrations were held in the rest of the country too.







Talking About the Future Under the New Social Democratic Government






Like these two ladies, many wonder if the new Social Democratic cabinet will be more inclusive and responsive to the needs of the masses and hope that just having one woman Ministra and one indigenous Ministro (Secretary of an executive department) in a country where 60% of the population are indigenous and at least, if not more, 50% of the population are women, will not be a handicap when the times comes to address the needs of the aforementioned people, which in turn represent the majority of the population.







Grandma and Granddaugther doing Mandados






Grandma and granddaughter caught while doing mandados (errands). Above we can see the close relationship between the grandparents and their grandchildren which in Guatemala is one of the strongest links between humans.







Women’s Meeting in Central Park






A group of women met at Parque Central to discuss how expensive all the útiles escolares (school supplies) are for this coming school year and to pass tips on where to get the best prices. Just like Black Wizard says, school supplies should also be free.







Back to the Guatemalan School Year 2008






Public schools are free in Guatemala, minus some administrative fees. But, everything you need for school is not free; you need to buy a every single pencil and sheet of paper as well as any book or notebook, cuaderno in Spanish.

In the picture above, we can see parents with their children making the queues to purchase all the necessary school supplies at Librerí­a Castillo in La Antigua Guatemala; librerí­a is the Spanish term for bookstore or stationary store.







Make Sure You Know How to Read this Sign






If you have lived for a while in the ‘first world’, make sure you know how to read this sign. Sanitarios is the Spanish word used in Guatemala for bathrooms. Make sure to memorize it, otherwise you will be running like this little girl. 😉

Don’t you just love this Sanitarios sign… see how can I not suffer a fetish for signs in La Antigua Guatemala when even the most mundane sign is made to look aesthetically pleasing.







Eating Ice Cream in the Winter Season






I guess that many tourists like the opportunity to eat rich ice cream in the winter season in the open in La Antigua Guatemala’s streets. Last year I showed you two tourists taking a break in the late afternoon to eat ice cream in Enjoy it while it lasts!







Corner Detail of Spanish-tile Roof and Street Lamp






I will let you in a little secret: I was caught taking the photo of the watchers (the guard and the photographer) so I pretended I was not taking their photo, but rather they were actual visual noise on my attempt to capture the street lamp, the stop sign and the roof detail. It worked, they continued their voyeuristic activities and so did I. Boy oh boy, the things I do for you guys!







Alto, Watch Me






Have I told you about my sign fetish… I don’t know if a cure exist for this sing disorder, but for sure La Antigua Guatemala signs do not help; there are SO MANY of them.

Do you know the etymology of fetish? If not you can find in this site… go happy h







Ice-capped Volcanoes in La Antigua Guatemala






Sometimes you just have to ask yourself what kind of strange brew are the Canadians brewing way up north, heh. See, first they steal our bright minds; then they take our gold and buy out our postal service; they insert strange things into our antigüeño breakfast (bacon they call it); even our money is now Canadian (it reads Canadian Bank Note on the brand-new Quetzal bills); just to name a few things. In return they send salsa-dancing-craze Spanish students and the horrible and hostile weather. Come on, this is Guatemala, a tropical country in Central America, you know, the tiny land that impedes the Caribbean Island from moving over the Pacific Ocean. So what business does it have freezing-cold-ice-capping winds in La Antigua Guatemala. See, we don’t need no sticking ice-capped mountains and volcanoes in our gorgeous temperate-always-sun-shining-eternal-spring weather. Those volcanoes you see in the background are ice-capped (see larger image).