Guatemalan wins Olympic Silver in 20km Race Walk

Erick Barrondo, from San Cristobal Verapaz, Alta Verapaz won the silver medal in the 20km Race Walk. This is the first medal at any Olympic Games for Guatemala. The 21-year-old Guatemala, will have a shot for a second Olympic Medal this year on August 11, when running the 50km race walk, his specialty.

This a continuation from a series of sports triumphs for Guatemala, that started with the sub-20 Soccer World Cup classification in 2011, and have not stopped since then. Congratulations  Erick for our first Olympic medal.

Guatemala wins Miss America Latina of the World

On June 9th  on the Monte Albán Teather at Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe, Riviera Maya, Mexico, Georgina Méndez Pimentel won the pageant Miss America Latina del Mundo. Here you can see the finalists and winners of the pageant.ÑO_2

With this year win, Guatemala joins Brazil, Dominican Republic and Venezuela as the countries with more winners. Congratulations Georgina.

Guatemalan winner of the World Barista Championship

So now we cannot only say we have some of the best coffees in the world, we have some of the best Baristas also. According to World Barista Championship Facebook page:, Raul Rodas from Guatemala won this year, 2012, World Barista Championship.

This is a video prior to the finals:

And here is the video when the winners were announced, I guess it was very exiting for Raúl, being the last one called as a finalist:

Congratulations Raúl, and remember, whenever in Guatemala, you can need to try our coffee here, not just in your country.

Happy Father’s Day

In Guatemala Father’s Day is celebrated on June 17th, so this year, is the same day as in many other countries, Sunday. As in many places kids prepare gifts at school to get to their parents on this day. Both of mine gave me my presents several days ago, a tie hanger and a mug with a picture of one of them. I hope to get my ipad smart cover, and my mother and sister always find something nice for me. So, to all my father friends, Happy Fathers Day!

“Winter” is officially here!

In Guatemala, we threat weather in a very different way than almost everywhere in the world. We call ourselves the country of Eternal Spring, although if you ask anyone when spring is, they will tell, there is no spring in Guatemala. As you may have heard, here we have Verano (it literary translates to Summer, but it has a different meaning) and Invierno (Winter, more different than Summer).

Verano is from November to April (but it can change, depending on the weather) is when there is no rain, December, January and February are the “colder” months of the year, but in most places temperatures will not get below 12 C (50 F) during the coldest time of the day, early in the morning.

Invierno is from May to October, or while the rain lasts. There is no official date, and rain, if is not much, cannot be considered as the begining of the season.

But in what season snow falls? Technically in summer, but truth is, there is no snow here, except for the occasional, once every ten of fifteen years, that someone says it snowed, and even then, most of the times is just a little ice, as we cannot differentiate snow from anything similar.

So as the rains have started to fall very frequently by now, you can say, that winter has officially begun.

Happy mother´s day – May 10th

Happy Mother´s Day to all Guatemalan Mothers, and to the mothers living here, even Google  Guatemala changed it´s doodle today to celebrate Mother´s Day.  But why is it celebrated on May 10th in Guatemala, I really do not know, as I understand it is celebrated this day in Mexico, Chile, El Salvador and other countries. The only credible explanation I have found was here. And is related to the original U.S. celebrations, one made to commemorate Ann Jarvis mother, and the other by Julia Ward Howe. The date in the U.S. was later changed to the second Sunday of May, so I guess we never found out when they changed it, and now is too late.

But how it is celebrated in Guatemala? as I understand today is a official holiday for mothers only. So if you are a mother in Guatemala, you can take your day off. Most schools have a celebration on the day before mother´s day and holiday on mother´s day, or at least that is what I remember that happened when I was a kid. My old son did not have a holiday this year, the small one has a celebration today, and will rest tomorrow. So I guess there are not many strong rules of what to do today, and being a workday for anyone who is not a mother, it goes on almost as a normal day, with many women missing from work.

Happy Mother´s Day

Visiting with small children this summer

I received a mail today:

“Just wondering if you had a list of activities I could do with my 8 and 6 yr old.  We are visiting my husbands family and will be staying in la capital for the entire month, with maybe a trip or two to Antigua or maybe el puerto, but otherwise mainly our time will be in the city.  I really want the kids (and myself) to be occupied so that we make fond memories in guate and will always want to return.”

I believe there are many suggestions in the site already, but I wanted to share the answer, in case someone else need the information:

Having two boy 6 and 9 myself, here is what I recommend:

Guatemala Zoo, a full day activity, you can spend all day there, half on the zoo, and half of the mechanical games. Closed on mondays

Children´s Museum, in front of the zoo, for a full afternoon, It closes on midday, but get to there early, as time will not be enough, maybe from 2:30 thru 5 or 6

Relief Map, or Mapa on Relieve. It is a great place to see the whole country, in miniature, also there are mechanical games there.

Laser Hero, at Centro Comercial Pradera or Pradera Concepción. Gotcha but with laser guns instead of paint balls

Parque Cayalá (not to be confused with Paseo Cayalá) for a walk in a forest without leaving the City. There are two parks there, very similar. Paseo Cayalá is nice also, but there is not much to do there with children, except have lunch.

You should really try to go Irtra in Reu (Retalhuleu) is a two hour trip, and spend there at least three days, including a weekend when the parks are open, monday everthing is closed, except some pools. It is a must for your children, no matter what.

Irtra Petapa, is a small version of the site at Reu, but a great place to spend a day, also closed on mondays,

Movie theathers at Okland Mall or Miraflores are great, but children movies are in Spanish, most of the time. At Miraflores you can also visit the museum.

Parque La Democracia is a very nice park, to ride bikes just around
Bowling at Metro Ball Zona 15 or Tikal Futura in zona 11.

Ruins at Kaminal Juyu in Zona 7

If you are going to Antigua, visit the ruins, specially Capuchinas, Santa Clara and Catheral. Also if you can stay a night a Casa Santo Domingo it would be great. Also Finca Filadelfia is a great visit.

Iximche ruins and Tecpan, are about and hour and a half a great place to be.

Mixco Viejo ruins is another great Mayan site about an hour from the city, but take your lunch with you, and make a Picnic, there is nothing more than tortillas there.

Amatitlán Lake is about 45 minutes from Guatemala City, you can go to the town of Amatitilan to see the lake, take a ride on a boat. You can algo go to Parque Naciones Unidas, I haven´t been there for a while, but it has reproductions of some places in the country, and was nice. Or you can go fishhing in El Relleno, if you don´t mind being followed
by 20 more children.

On Sunday morning you can go to Pasos y Pedales in Avenida Las Americas.

Cerrito del Carmén, has been refubrished and last time I was there it was very nice.

Cervecería Musuem at zona 2, I believe you have to make an appointment
Museo del Ferrocarril at zona 1.

I enjoyed a visit to El Amate, where you can buy fake brand name everything and pirated movies with a secure parking.

I haven´t been there in a while, but walking on 6a Avenida is supposed to be very nice, including a visit to Central Park, the Cathedral and maybe the National Palace

Depending on thte date, you can look for a Fair, they are very nice.

Hope this helps, I guess you can have a great time here.

Hope this helps somebody else too.

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