Here in Xela
Xola Travel Blog› entry 2 of 2 › view all entries
I have been here in Xela for a week now and it is an amazing place. There is more here than just learning a new language. There is the culture and the art that I love so much. Within the culture is hidden the true meaning of who a people are. One cannot and should not compare this magical place with anywhere else in this world. It is unique to itself. I was warned by many friends and family of the dangers of coming to Guatemala. Yes there are some concerns but those same concerns can be found in any place. It is all a matter of using some common sense.
Xela is to me busy, creative, noisy, smelly, colourful, enchanting, arousing. It is a part of Guatemala that I am so glad I came to first. A small city with such bustle and goings on. With a population that is half Mayan and half Spanish it presents a colourful array of texture from the brightly dressed Mayan people to the neo classical architectural structures in the inner city. The ever winding streets adorned with houses that are splashed with colours of ochre and siennas and bright pthalo blues. The sidewalks are always narrow and sometimes slide aimlessly into a passing wall. The streets seem to wander and wind and intersect where the should. Stop signs! What are they? The market with is array of goods as you learn to count in Quezels. The central park with its gardens, its carefully selected seating areas carved into concrete walls where one can watch life stride by and feel the heat of the midday sun. Across from me might sit the shoe shine man with his customer immune to the slap of brushes against his shoe. A local photographer motions to some passing Mayan ladies and gestures for one to pose for him. He mimes for her to look a certain way and the moment is captured. Night comes early in Latin America and with a cooler night and venturing out I need a sweater. Night life is here if that is what you want and here one should heed some warnings about walking about alone. Most people that come here never see or experience anything negative in their journey.
I have to refer here to an older retired fellow traveller who explored Xela and areas around it, who not once encountering any problems. He recounted a experience to me of hopping into the back of a pick up truck and bouncing about for five hours to get to his destination. He always travelled alone exploring and meeting such interesting people. He did this with a very simple level of the language.
Xela is wonderfull