The myth of why people from Antigua Guatemala are called panzas verdes, or green bellies, states that the reason is all the avocados they eat. Certainly, we eat a lot of avocados here since we have several kinds and a plentiful supply of aguacates.
Even on this website we reinforced the myth almost a decade ago. However, it was during the History of La Antigua Guatemala conferences by the best historians in Guatemala that I learned that in realty, the renegades who refused to move Guatemala City after the earthquake of 1773 were forbidden by law from trading milk, eggs and meat. So, it was the people of Santiago de Guatemala living in Guatemala City wondered if the bellies of the renegades had turned green because they were only eating herbs and greens.
As you can see in this basket, the authentic diet of a true panza verde includes lots of greens such a chipilin, macuy, acelgas, bledo, beans, iguashte, and hard-boiled eggs; no meats as you can see here. Sadly though, all these green delicacies are disappearing form the diets of antigüeños. Soon enough the myth would be the only thing people remember.
© 2017, Rudy Girón. All rights reserved.