Quetzaltenango Travel Blog› entry 92 of 424 › view all entries
Arrived in Quetzaltenango or as it is called by everyone except the map, Xela, after a 7-hour bus journey from the capital that was supposed to be 4 hours. After reading so many horror stories of buses getting held up by bandits on the road to Xela and everything getting stolen, we were a bit paranoid and terryfied every time the bus stopped. At one point, we were slightly panicked as the bus slowed down at a road block and 4 boys were standing just to the side of the bus wearing black balacalavas and all had shotguns slung over their shoulders.
Anyway made it to Xela complete with our luggage and immediately we were shocked by the cold mountain air.
After a few days flitting between crap hostels, we came across some apartments just one block from the Parque Central and here we have found home for a month.
Here in Xela we have been studying Spanish at a great school for a few weeks and have also done a spot of volunteer work in an orphanage. The work at the orphanage was very upsetting stuff but at the same time we really enjoyed it and it felt good to give the kids just a few hours of attention that they desperately need. Simon became a human climbing frame with the kids amazed at the tall blond gringo but soon learnt that they could swing from his arms and legs. We helped them with their school work, played games with them and tried to chat to them in our crap Spanish (although not as crap now since our lessons, ah-ha!).
The Spanish lessons have been great although quite tough as we had 5 hours a day 1-2-1 with a personal teacher. Brain-overload!!!!
We are doing some treks with Quetzaltrekkers, visiting surrounding villages and some hot springs while we are based in Xela, see later entries for all these!!!