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6od Save the Queen
Leonardo De Veggle
V va Hamn
Bagel Creamm Cheese 1 9
D boe n Bageal (piek flaverl 030
Pot of stream Cheese flavored QO10
Free delivery 1 KM around Antigua
7:30am 4:30pm (Not Tuesdays)
Min. order Q.50.00
Ecological Park in protected area with more than
RanChO CarrillO 50 animal species around, such as gulls, pelicans,
iguanas, crabs, fish, turtles, etc. Restaurant for
* Beach 5 Pools Bungalows up to more 300 guests, 5 pools with healthy
* Rooms Restaurant seawater in constant
renewal in Guatemala's
Sipacate, La Gomera Escuintla cleanest beach.
Just 134 kilometers from Guatemala City
driving on excellent highway -
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m -* A
r1T n II TI i
IrAr'ws y Vi isr orn
- TAJ s y V) eSL
WINE, CIGARS, CHOCOLATE AND MORE.
Si LARGEST SELECTION OF WINE IN ANTIGUA
by Jennifer Rowe
Holiday Shopping in Antigua
Quick tour of some local
by Joy Houston
The Virgin of Guadalupe
6 SACRED ANIMALS &
EXOTIC TROPICAL PLANTS
by Dr. Nicholas Hellmuth
Cacao vs Pataxte
by Peter C Meyer
The Unappreciated Passer Domesticus
by Elizabeth Bell
What is your favorite December fiesta?
patron Santo Tomis
by Jason Kennedy
El Cristo Negro
by Ken Veronda
12 Gift ideas for that special someone
Guatemalan Nativity Scenes
by Matt Bokor
An Exercise in Futility
Recipe for Christmas Punch
by Dwight Wayne Coop
Moonlight Film Festival
by Dwight Wayne Coop
Bringing the Heat
Guatemala Goes Global
The Noche Before Christmas
Nativity scenes come in many
shapes and sizes
to culture and
Women's Cultural Center
10 From the Publishers
Vet Q & A
112 Real Estate
17 El Salvador
118 Advertiser Index
ON THE COVER
Celebration of La Concepci6n in Ciudad Vieja
31 services/ shopping
services / shopping
1 Las Lisas
1 Monterrico / Pacific Coast
1 El Peten
1 Rio Dulce
Deadline for the
January 2011 issue ) Dec. 10
Flysafely, fly TACAREGIONAL
We invite you to discover
the wonders of Guatemala li
origin /ei i Fg D au A il e n
FROM THE EDITOR
December is here and with it the usu-
al and unusual sights, sounds and
flavors of the Christmas season.
Elizabeth Bell fills us in on her favor-
ite among the unique ceremonies of the
Christmas season, while Joy Houston tells
us about festivities honoring the Virgin of
Need some holiday gift ideas? Jennifer
Rowe took a whirlwind tour of La Antigua
Guatemala shops to write a holiday gift
guide. We also have a recipe for Guatemala's
It's not all about Christmas, though.
Dr. Nicholas Hellmuth delves into ancient
chocoholics and the symbols they left be-
hind, and D. Wayne Coop fills us in on the
spicy topic of chiles.
Meanwhile, Peter C. Meyer takes us on
a bird watch, focusing on an unappreciated
Looking ahead to January, Jason Ken-
nedy explains the ceremonies coming up
in Chiquimula to honor the Black Christ.
There's much more in Datebook and
throughout this month's issue.
You also might notice a change in our
personnel roster-me! I've recently returned
to Antigua to become the Revue editor. My
career includes nearly 20 years at The Associ-
ated Press and Miami Herald, and I've been
affiliated with the Revue since 2002 as a writ-
er, associate editor and copy editor.
It's great to be back in Antigua. Merry
Christmas and Happy New Year!
Guatemala's English-language Magazine
Publishers: John &Terry Kovick Biskovich
Editor: Matt Bokor
Staff Writer: Dwight Wayne Coop
Art Director/Graphic Design: Rudy A. Gir6n
Proofreader: Jennifer Rowe
Club Fotografico de Guatemala: www.clubfotografico.org
La Antigua Manager: CesarTian
Production Director: Mercedes Mejicanos
Administrative Assistant: Andrea Santiago
Systems: Jose Caal, Luis Juarez, Diego Alvarez
Distribution: Cesar Tian, Oscar Chac6n, Luis Toribio
Maintenance: Silvia Gomez, Maria Solis
Sales Representatives: Ivonne Perez, CesarTian,
Denni Marsh, Fernando Rodas, Lucy Longo de Perez,
Lena Johannessen, Lesbia Leticia Macal Elias
RevueWebmaster: Rudy A. Gir6n
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Publishing Company: SAN JOAQUIN PRODUCCIONES, S.A.
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PBX: (502) 7931-4500
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1 level, Of. #105 Tel: (502) 7931-4500
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EL SALVADOR firstname.lastname@example.org
El Salvador Regional Manager: Lena Johannessen
Col. Centroamerica Calle San Salvador #202, San Salvador
TelFax: (503) 2260-7475, 2260-1825 Cel: 7981-4517
Opinions orstatements printed in the REVUE are not necessarily
those of the publishers. We welcome your comments.
20,000 issues monthly
REVUE is distributed free, and available at:
Hotels, Restaurants, Travel Agencies, Car Rental Agencies,
Embassies, Spanish Schools, INGUAT offices, Shops,
and other public places in the following areas:
Guatemala City, La Antigua, Quetzaltenango, Lake Atitlan,
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as wellaslocations in El Salvador, Honduras, and Belize.
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Patron ofthe Americas
A procession in honor of
the Virgin of Guadalupe
leaves La Merced Church
(CESAR TIAN, LA ANTIGUA, 2009)
ome of us like to ease into the Christ-
mas season. Year after year it seems to
come suddenly. For others it's never
too soon. They like to stretch it out as long
as possible. The celebrations of the Virgin
of Guadalupe have something for everyone.
The easers can enjoy yet take it slowly; it's a
festive event but not a Christmas one. The
stretchers can just add it to the list, right af-
ter the Burning of the Devil.
On December 12 children all over Gua-
temala don traditional indigenous dress and
carry the image of the Virgin of Guadalu-
pe, patron of the Americas, in procession
through their parishes, accompanied by fire-
works and dances with bands and/or ma-
rimbas and stands of traditional foods. The
tradition originated in Mexico and spread
throughout the Americas, perhaps first to
The year was 1531 and, as most events
recounted centuries later, versions vary as to
what happened. It was 10 years after Spanish
conquistador Hernin Cortes defeated the
Aztecs. Catholic missionaries came to evan-
gelize, replacing the Aztec religion-which
was not a bad thing if one remembers that
that religion practiced human sacrifice at
the rate of some 20,000 per year. But along
with evangelizing came slavery-which was
a bad thing.
A tourist guide in Mexico City tells the
story this way. A dark-skinned Virgin Mary
appeared to Juan Diego, an indigenous
peasant, on a chilly December 9 on Tepeyac
Hill, site of the Aztec temple dedicated to
the Earth goddess and destroyed by order of
Bishop Juan de Zumarraga. Mary told Juan
Diego to go and ask the archbishop to build
a church for the indigenous people on that
very site-a formidable task for the poor,
47-year old native ...continued on page 104
in Ant ua text/photos
by Jennifer Rowe
If you are new to Guatemala, on a bud-
get, or just having trouble coming up with
unique ideas for gifts this holiday season,
do not fret! Here are afew suggestions of
what is available to you from some of the
merchants in Antigua.
If there's someone on your shopping list
that enjoys setting a lovely table for the
holidays (or any other day of the year for
that matter) check out Colibri. They have
an extensive assortment of scarves, table
runners, napkins, coasters, and placemats
sure to please every decorating style. In ad-
dition to their usual array of vibrant textiles,
during the holiday shopping season they
will be carrying Christmas-themed items
such as towels, tablecloths, napkins and
even tortilla warmers. Their prices will also
please every budget with items ranging from
Q38 to Q1,150.
For an eclectic selection of incense, clothes
and jewelry, visit D'Jinn. Their store
is a colorful and calm oasis located on the
popular Calle del Arco. The inventory is con-
stantly being updated with fashionable and
funky items such as dresses, skirts, blouses,
purses and scarves. Be sure to check out their
amazing selection of pants made out of typi-
cal indigenous fabrics. Prices at D'Jinn range
from a mere Q40 up to Q3,000.
Cooking for original artwork? El Sol
Maya sells paintings by Guatemalan
artist Mario Lanz. His paintings feature the
woman on the label for Quetzalteca-Espe-
cial rum. He has painted her as a Guatema-
lan version of other characters such as Su-
pergirl, Da Vinci's Mona Lisa, and Rodin's
The Thinker, just to name a few. They also
sell bags of all sizes made of traditional fab-
rics and featuring Lanz's images. Bags start
at Q200, paintings are Q600 and up.
f you have some time on your hands and
would like to wander around a store with
lots of space and an inventory of well over a
million items (give or take) visit Casa de los
Gigantes. The word "gigantic" is in their
name for a reason-you name it, they prob-
ably have it. They offer room after room of
unique and fun items such as nativity sets,
pottery, candles, ornaments, statues, dishes
-including one huge room dedicated to
nothing but textiles. Overwhelming? Yes, but
in a good way. Prices start at Q25. And here's
a fun fact-according to Siggy, the owner of
Casa de los Gigantes, if you were on actor
Matthew McConaughey's Christmas list a
couple years ago, odds are the teak cutting
board you got from him came from her store.
So, let's say the sky's the limit this holi-
day season. (If so, please add me to your
shopping list.) How about giving a pool
table to that special someone this year? Visit
Liverpool and check out their fine selection
of pool, football, poker and yes, even ping
pong tables. If you bring your room mea-
surements, they can help you decide what
size table will work the best for your space.
They also carry all of the accessories you'll
need to make the game room the most fun
place in your house. Prices at Liverpool
range from Q2,200 to upwards of Q10,000.
F or an educational shopping experience,
check out Casa Del Tejido, a store and
museum of indigenous textiles run com-
pletely by indigenous people. They will be
happy to give you a tour of their museum
and explain the significance of the different
traditional fabrics, clothing and head wear
from each region. You can also see a weaving
demonstration and visit room after room of
colorful textiles. In addition to clothing,
purses, scarves, hats and masks, they sell
chocolate and coffee so there's something
for everyone and every budget.
T a Casa del Conde carries all types of
new books and maps, as well as travel
guides for the Central American region. If
there's someone on your list who is becom-
ing bilingual, take a look at their selection
of Spanish textbooks. And for those send-
ing gifts back home, why not show people
how beautiful our town is by giving them an
Antigua photo book for Q145? It includes
pictures of Antigua taken by expert photog-
rapher Thor Janson, who was featured in the
November 2010 edition of REVUE.
JOYERiA DEL ANGEL B FASHION
W ant to buy something with a little
sparkle to it? Joyeria del Angel is
a lovely, bright and inviting store-good
vibes abound here. Ivonne, the owner, is
outgoing and fun-she would love to show
you around and discuss their one-of-a-kind
designs. In addition to jewelry, they also sell
sunglasses, purses and beautiful French hats
and scarves. They believe having fun while
shopping is important, so every weekend
during the month of December they are of-
fering cookies and drinks to their custom-
ers. So stop by, grab some coffee, and take a
look at their exclusive jewelry designs! Prices
start around Q325 and go up from there.
f you happen to be in the Central Park
while doing your shopping, visit Un Poco
de Todo. As the name suggests, they carry
a little of everything-t-shirts, calendars,
books, hats, music, postcards, original art-
work, coffee... Their selection of cookbooks
includes those written in both English and
Spanish, so there's something for everyone.
And if there's a wee little person on your
shopping list, they also carry children's books.
H hardware stores aren't just for nails and
paint anymore. El MAstil is an excel-
lent place to buy gifts for men and women
alike. They carry a great selection of Victori-
nox merchandise, including flashlights and
the extremely popular Swiss Army knives.
And if you want to give the gift of life, they
sell EcoFiltro water purifiers-what could
be better than giving someone the benefit of
clean drinkable water all year? If you can't de-
cide what to get, ask for Gabriel-he would
be happy to offer you some suggestions.
F or the gardener on your list, Vivero La
Escalonia is your one-stop shopping
destination. Here you will find everything
from house plants, trees, shrubs and flow-
ers to gardening tools such as gloves and
shovels. During the holidays they will be
selling wreaths and poinsettias. They also
offer a lovely assortment of pots, fountains,
statues and bird feeders for those looking to
beautify their yards. While shopping, take
a break and enjoy a meal in their caf6. If
you are stumped (bad pun?) and don't know
what to buy, they also offer gift certificates.
If there's a fashionista on your list, go to B
Fashion. Their inventory of trendy blous-
es, skirts, pants, purses and jewelry includes
items from Guatemala and the United States.
Their selection of items is sure to please all
styles. They are in the process of updating
their store with winter items just in time for
the holidays. Prices start at Q125.
Looking for something special for the per-
on who has everything? Look no further
than Ritual. They pride themselves in selling
uncommon items from India. Their store is
full of unique merchandise including statues,
coasters, silver platters, furniture, decorative
boxes, candle holders and even a sink basin
lined entirely with mother-of-pearl.
F or a truly unique shopping experience,
visit El Patio Antiques. Their store is
literally filled to the ceiling with one of a kind
items including carved wooden doors, glass-
ware, religious figures, silverware, furniture,
paintings and statues. You will instantly feel
younger as you walk among their stunning
selection of antiques and vintage pieces.
F or those of you who want to buy gifts
online, but are wary of the Guatemalan
postal service, Aerocasillas is here to help.
Basically, you buy something online and have
it sent to their address in Florida and they in
turn send it to their office in Guatemala. You
can track your package the entire time and
they handle all customs and logistical details,
which offers you peace of mind. The Antigua
office is located inside Monoloco.
If you are still unsure of what to get, a gift
certificate might be the best idea. For
anyone who is overworked and overstressed,
you can give them a day of pampering at a
local spa. Know anyone with two left feet?
Dance lessons might be the cure. A gift
certificate to someone's favorite restaurant
would also be a great present. And if there's
a sportsperson on your list, a fishing excur-
sion or a hiking trip might be just what they
have always wanted.
Ok, now that you're inspired, make your list,
check it twice, put on your walking shoes
and get out there and shop. 0o
Chocoholics a thousand years ago and today in Mayan archaeology
Theobroma cacao is the tree that pro-
duces the seed from which choco-
late is processed. Theobroma bicolor
is the tree that produces pataxte. If you are
shown the seeds or the pods, they look pret-
ty much the same.
But when you see the entire tree, they
are as different as night and day. The pataxte
tree is tall and has no branches anywhere
near the bottom. The cacao tree is a large
bush, with branches at many levels and
flowers from near the trunk all the way to
the top and to the ends of all the branches.
Most chocolate around the world is pro-
duced from cacao. Pataxte is rarely used to
produce chocolate in commercial quanti-
ties. Yet pataxte is clearly mentioned in the
mythology of the Popol Vuh. The Quiche
Maya knew the difference between pataxte
It is ironic that although cacao is primarily a
lowland species, both grow in the highlands.
I see a lot of pataxte near people's houses
in the San Marcos area near the Mexican-
The first pataxte tree I noticed was at
Takalik Abaj archaeological site. More pa-
taxte (and cacao) trees are at the delightful
hotel Takalik Maya Lodge about 2 kilome-
ters from those ruins.
Cacao also grows in Peten but commer-
cially it is grown primarily in Alta and Baja
Verapaz, Solola, Quetzaltenango, Suchite-
pequez, Retalhuleu and San Marcos (Pro-
ducci6n Nacional y Caracteristicas de la
Industria del Cacao en Guatemala).
A thousand years ago cacao orchards may
have been more widespread, since cacao is
often shown in 4th-5th century provincial
Teotihuacan-style incense burner lids from
throughout the Tiquisate area of Escuintla.
Cacao in hieroglyphs
and in Classic Maya art
Epigraphers have recognized that one of
the common hieroglyphs in the Primary
Standard Sequence refers to cacao. It is also
known that many of these vases and bowls
held the cacao drink (residue is found in the
bottom of the vessels). Clearly, cacao was
important to the Maya, both during their
life and for eternity in their afterlife.
The Popol Vuh states that the head of the de-
capitated father of Hunahpu and Xbalanque
was a gourd that hung from a gourd tree.
There are two species of this tree, but most
archaeologists and iconographers identify the
trees on Codex-style vases as being cacao.
There are two ways to handle the discrepan-
cy: first, the version of the Popol Vuh that we
have today is primarily a highland version;
cacao is primarily a lowland plant (though it
grows and flowers, even at high elevations).
In other words, there were probably several
regional versions of the Popol Vuh in centu-
ries far before the Quiche ...ontnued on page 58
PHOTO LEFT: Cacao fruit from TakalikAbaj
archaeological site (Nicholas Helmuth)
Monkeys were associated with cacao, and even
more with pataxte. The item on its necklace could
be theobroma. ( MAYP collection, hoto Ncholas HelluthA
BIRD WATCH byPeter C. Meyer
Th Un prI.te
L a Antigua Guatemala is a gathering
place not only for people from around
e world but also for certain animals.
One in particular feeds among our venerate
buildings, parks and churches, accepts hand-
outs at the top of the Empire State Building in
New York City, and is found in zoos, factories
and warehouses around the world.
One pair was found breeding in a coal
mine 640 meters below the Earth's surface,
and in China they know of its involvement
in the famine of the 1960s which cost 30
It is the ever-present but seldom seen and
unappreciated grayish-brown sparrow, Pas-
ser Domesticus. Coming from Europe like
the pilgrims before, the first few dozen
landed in the United States in 1852; from
there they reproduced with great speed and
invaded the continent's major population
centers, eventually settling even in Australia
My backyard wild bird feeder helped
raise a couple of clutches last summer. How-
ever, I remember the bird as an unwelcome
pest from my youth in Europe. I saw great
swarms of them there, descending on wheat
fields to destroy germinating grains.
One neighbor caught them in traps by the
dozen and had his wife saut6 them for din-
ner. In 1958 Mao Zedong declared war on
four national pests that threatened the suc-
cess of his communist revolution: rats, flies,
mosquitoes and sparrows.
In a massive campaign, sparrow nests
were destroyed throughout China; children
were taught to shoot them down with sling
shots to eradicate every last pair. Two years
later in 1960 the U.S. National Academy of
Science announced that the sparrow ate an
abundance of harmful insects, which aided
rather than harmed the raising of crops.
When Mao reversed his sparrow-eradica-
tion order it was too late. Soon enormous
swarms of locusts destroyed Chinese crops
and together with poor weather caused the
worst famine of his regime.
My own response to the birds' backyard pres-
ence in Antigua was one of ambivalence.
They compete with more beautiful birds,
birds that sing, birds of brilliant plumage and
birds threatened with extinction. In contrast,
the sparrow wins no beauty contest and his
song is a shrill or at times nasal chirp. Their
nests are a disorderly collection of leaves,
grass, bits of string, paper and feathers. They
breed in the holes of trees, old walls, under
Antigua's roof shingles or in the crumbling
ruins of ancient churches. They cleverly
snatch breadcrumbs meant for pigeons and
engage in raucous fights that send combat-
ants chirping into nearby bushes.
Although females are smaller and less attrac-
tive, they dominate their males with whom
they mate for life. If a partner is lost, how-
ever, another is quickly replaced by one of
several novios that males or females keep on
the side. Studies show that 15 percent of a
female's offspring is not sired by the life-
long partner. Bigamy also occurs, but this
is limited by the quarreling among females.
What struck me about these birds is how
they assimilate with our own way of life.
They prefer human company although they
can't be tamed. They need us but don't seem
to like us. Territories hostile to man are also
shunned by the sparrow.
When cars began to replace horses in the
1920s, spilled oats and horse fodder no lon-
ger sprinkled the streets, and the sparrows
lost a significant food supply. Their young
need insects to grow and therefore subur-
ban sparrows are more successful parents
than birds that try to raise their young in
downtown New York, for instance.
With their lives so tied to that of our own
it worried me when recent reports indicated
that they were dying. In the Netherlands
the sparrow population has declined by 50
percent since 1980 and in England by 68
percent since 1970. In larger cities like Lon-
don the bird's population is down by over 80
percent. The causes of their disappearance
should alarm us. Studies show that both pes-
ticides and electromagnetic radiation from
mobile phone antennae are linked to the
bird's recent disappearance. Also, the use of
unleaded gas, which produces toxic com-
pounds like methyl nitrite, may be a cause.
In addition our less ornate architecture, such
as the use of glass and aluminum, result in a
lack of nesting sites.
I think I will contin-
ue feeding my spar-
row families, for if
the sparrow goes we
may not be far behind. If you see one in the
streets of Antigua, know that he is a sym-
bol of our healthier life compared to that of
more-crowded population centers. 0
by Elizabeth Bell
What is your favorite fiesta this month?
The celebration of La Concepci6n
in Ciudad Vieja, near La Antigua
Guatemala, is incredible!
Everyone enjoys beginning the Christ-
mas cycle by "burning the devil" on Dec.
7. Many will gather at La Concepci6n in
Antigua at 6 p.m. to burn an effigy of the
devil enhanced with a sign notating local
gossip. After the reading of his "will," the
image goes up in flames. Custom requires
the burning of paper trash in front of houses
to ward off bad spirits.
The fiestas feature a convite in Ciudad
Vieja on Dec. 7 at about 1 p.m. with dozens
of carriages/vehicles with religious, cultural
and sports decorations. Convites are alle-
gorical parades the day before a procession
and are great fun to see.
On the following day, Dec. 8, Ciudad Vieja
celebrates its virgin patron's day-Dia de la
Virgen de La Concepci6n-with incredible
dances and more fireworks than I have ever
seen all at once in Guatemala. Mass is held at
the church in the central plaza at 10 a.m., fol-
lowed by the burning ofgranadas cont page 62
TRADITION photos courtesy of INGUAT
Home of one of Central America's
largest indigenous markets, Chi-
chicastenango is at its liveliest
this month because Dec. 21 is the feast day
of its patron saint, Santo Tomis.
Festivities run Dec. 17-22 and include pa-
rades, processions, fireworks and traditional
dances, most notably the palo volador (pole
flyer). In the palo volador ceremony, the
trunk of a tall pine tree is consecrated and
raised in the plaza; costumed dancers climb
to the top and attach themselves to ropes.
Thrilling the crowd below, the dancers spin
around the pole as their ropes unravel with
every turn, lowering them closer and closer
to the ground in a death-defying ritual.
The focal point of the festival is the historic
church of Santo Tomas, opposite the market.
If you enter the church, however, don't use
the side doors-it is regarded as disrespectful.
A glimpse of the church interior reveals a
mix of Catholic and Maya culture, especial-
ly evident during the festival.
A stop in Chichi is a must for any traveler, but
a visit during the vibrant celebrations of Santo
Tomas will be especially memorable. -
revuemag.com ( 21
Fri. & Sat. 4, 8pm ML
Can presents concert of Cat
bas, La Vuelta alMundo en 80 Rur
El Sitio (tel: 7832-3037), LaAnti
4Sat. & Sun., 5, 10am-
BAZAAR: Handicrafts sale
by local artisans. La Galeria
(tel: 7762-2432), Panaja-
chel, Lake Atitldn.
4Sat., 10am-5pm ART FESTIVAL:
Casa Sito' Art Festival features art (incl.
exhibition by Antigua children), artistic pre-
sentations, video and interactive activities.
Centro de Formaci6n der la Cooperaci6n
Espafiola, 6a av. norte between 3a & 4a calle
4 Sat., 5pm MUSIC: In concert,
Dulcijubilo, featuring Christmas carols
by Capella Cantorum. Q70. El Sitio (tel:
4Sat., 1pm CULTURAL EVENT: A
glimpse at indigenous culture, a Maya
sacerdote (priest) performs an authentic
ceremony/ritual. Free. La Pena de Sol La-
tino (tel: 7882-4468), 5a calle poniente
4Sat., 7pm OUTDOOR CHRIST-
MAS CONCERT: Marimba mi Lu-
pita, Estudiantina Monteflor and Sol Na-
ciente Trio, playing traditional Christmas
music. Will be serving tamal and ponche.
Also a Christmas bazaar, selling cookies,
candy and Christmas gifts. Free. Orga-
nized by La Fonda de la Calle Real. Calle
del Arco, LaAntigua.
4Sat. through Jan. 3 ART: For the first time in Guatemala a show by North Ameri-
can sculptor Keith L. Andrews titled Un Pedacito de Nosotros, which includes 20 bronze
sculptures. Andrews uses sculpture to investigate themes such as empathy, isolation and
connectivity. La Antigua Galeria de Arte (tel: 7832-2124), LaAntigua.
4 Sat., 6pm
recital by students
from Escuela de
Danza Gilda Jolas
Q30 pre-sale, Q35
day of the event.
Ruinas de San
Jer6nimo, Calzada : T
Santa Lucia norte
final, LaAntigua. '
6Mon. through Fri., 10 EXPOSI-
TION: I Love Vintage with furniture
and art by Oscar Wyld. Museo Ixchel (tel:
2361-8081), Centro Cultural UFM, 6a cal-
le final z. 10, Guatemala City. v
arztfmz=i -i ^
7Tues., 2pm CULTURAL EVENT:
A celebration honoring Virgen de Con-
cepci6n with a parade of floats (convite)
leaves the cathedral and travels through
7Tues., 5:30pm (English) TALK:
Microloans: Myths and Management, by
Franklin Voorhes of As Green As It Gets,
a non-profit organization focusing on eco-
nomic development and environmentally
sustainable agriculture in Guatemala. Do-
nation Q25. Rainbow Caf6 (tel: 7832-1919),
7a av. sur #8, LaAntigua.
Tues., 6pm CULTURAL EVENT:
Quema del Diablo (Burn the Devil) a
ceremony that eliminates evil spirits and
clears the way for Christmas celebrations.
Live music. Barrio de la Concepci6n, 4a
calle oriented, LaAntigua.
8 Wed., 4pm CULTURAL EVENT:
Rezado, a procession of the Virgen de
Concepci6n with fireworks and folkloric
dances and dramas performed throughout
the route, Ciudad Vieja.
SWed., 5-7pm ART: Inauguration of
exposition Su Morfo by artist Guillermo
Maldonado. Mes6n Panza Verde (tel: 7832-
2925), 5a av. sur #19, LaAntigua. V
n fl -.-
8 Wed., 6:30pm (Spanish) BOOK
PRESENTATION: Puntadas que Unen
Culturas (Embroidery Stitches that Unite
Cultures) published by Museo Ixchel. Li-
breria Sophos (tel: 2361-8081), Plaza Fon-
tabella, z. 10, Guatemala City.
] DateBook online: www.REVUEmag.com
8 Wed., 7pm ART: Vivificaciones by
Guatemalan artist Felix Vidal Chac6n.
Galeria El Tinel (tel: 2367-3284), 16 cal-
lel-01, Plaza Obelisco, z. 10, Guatemala
1 Fri., 6pm THEATER: How the
SGrinch Stole Christmas, with an in-
ternational cast including some 25 dancers
and performers. Tickets Q25. Teatro de
Cimara, Teatro Nacional, 24 calle 3-81 z.
1, Guatemala City.
1 Sat., 7pm EVENT: Reciclando
para mi Mundo, tapas, benefit con-
cert and art auction featuring Grammy
Award nominee Giovanni Pinz6n. Schol-
arship students also perform folkloric
dances; fire throwers and special musical
guests. Purchase tickets in advance. Q150
includes first glass of wine, tapas and
performances. Cash bar. Proceeds benefit
Reciclando p i- 4i
Visit wv v
org or c ,-n r r
ditions .Or_ tel:
7762-2 2'" Li
Palapk i_, L I-
ya, Panajcc/ I.
1 Sat., 1pm BENEFIT DANCE
& MUSIC: The Ninos de San An-
tonio Aguas Calientes dance and play the
marimba, flutes and bombas. Donations
benefit educational pursuits. Free. La Pefia
de Sol Latino (tel: 7882-4468), 5a calle po-
niente #15C, LaAntigua.
Sat., 5pm MUSICAL CON-
CERT: In Dulci Jubilo, Christmas
carols by Capella Cantorum. Q70. El Sitio
(tel: 7832-3037), LaAntigua. v
1 Sun. DIA DE LA VIRGEN DE
LGUADALUPE: Throughout the
country children dress in typical clothing,
paying homage to Virgen de Guadalupe
and Juan Diego of Mexico. See related arti-
cle on page 11. One such procession begins
at La Merced Church, La Antigua.
1 3Mon., 5pm (English/Spanish)
1I FUNDRAISER: The Maya Conser-
vancy and Conservacidn Maya, a non-profit
dedicated to the preservation and protec-
tion of Mayan and Pre-Mayan archaeologi-
cal sites, is holding its first fundraiser. Priz-
es, raffles, great Christmas gifts, stocking
stuffers, photo exhibit and sale. Donation
Q50. Casa Convento Concepci6n 4a. calle
oriented #41, LaAntigua.
PLAIA O BIELSCO
The oldest Guatemalan Art Gallery.
Featuring more than 100 artists.
*NEW ADDRESS: Plaza Obelisco 16 calle 1-01, zona 10
Tels: 2367-3266, 5779-0000 email@example.com
Gallery & Museum
FeSti4a calle oriented #10
Interior Casa Antigua, El Jaul6n
La Antigua Guatemala
1 4(first week in December) FILM
1 FESTIVAL: The 4th annual Cine
bajo la Luna (Moonlight Cinema) featuring
film shorts ranging from 25 to 50 minutes
viewed on large outdoor monitors. See re-
lated article on page 92. Panajachel, Lake
Scene from the movie recently made about assas-
sinated Bishop Gerardi.The film previews during
the Moonlight Film Festival.
DEL TRAJE INDOGENA
Learn about the fascinating
history of the Maya's clothing
Buy Guatemalan handicrafts at
our shop. Shop on line at
Centro Cultural UFM
6ta. Calle Final, Zona 10
Ciudad de Guatemala
Telefaxes: (502) 2361 8081/82
Monday Friday 9:00 to 17:00
Saturday 9:00 to 13:00
M u S E 0O
Unlversldad Francisco Marroquin
MON FRI: 9:00 to 17:00
SAT: 9:00 to 13:00
6 Calle final zona 10
Universidad Francisco Marroquin
Tel: (502) 2338-7836, 2338-7837
Ma ac.a oill Mg C lon ial Art
A ANTIGUA TOUR: Tues, Wed, Fri, Sat at 9:30am with Elizabeth Bell $20
:Meet at the fountain in the main square
T O U I .I SLIDE SHOW: Tuesdays at 6pm at El Sitio, 5a calle poniente #15 Q30
by EiUlibelt Blell Inquireaboutothertoursandtravel arrangements in Guatemala
A,,r.....i ...1 u ..I ... 1, ..- .. I, r.1. I d 1..ahI Offices: *3a calle oriented #22 and *inside Casa del Conde (main square)
www.antiguatours.net Mon-Fri 8am-5pm Sat-Sun 9-1pm Tels: 7832-5821,7832-0053
f REVUE tiene la circulacion mas grande: 20,000 ejemplares mensuales
THROUGHOUT THE IVMONTH
Monday Night Blues with Nelson Lunding.
Piano & vocals.
Wednesday Live Jazz Trio; sax, piano, bass.
Thursday Buena Vista de Coraz6n; Cuban
Jazz. Conga and vocals by Ignacio.
Friday Latin Quartet; guitar, conga, piano.
Sunday Classical music.
Monday, 7-10pm Carlos Trujillo,
Classical & Latin Guitar music to complete
your intimate dining experience. Free.
Tuesday, 7-10pm Ramiro plays Trova
Wednesday through Sundays, 7-10pm -
Sol Latino plays Andean music (pan flutes).
Sunday, 12:30-3pm Ramiro plays Trova
I think part ofa best friend's job should be
to immediately clear your computer history
if you die. -TaymorFarhang
Monday, 7:30pm Don Ramiro will serenade
you with some beautiful Latin folk music. Free.
Tuesday & Fridays, 7:30pm Sergio, reggae
Wednesday, 7:30pm Open Mike 1 .. r...
by Juan-Jo and friends. A complimentary drink for
all performers. Free.
Thursday, 7:30pm Giiicho will astound
you with his guitar skills and improvisation of
Latino and pop classics.
Saturday, 7:30pm -At.One.Ment. Come
and listen to Luke and his band. You cannot
miss it. Enjoy a few drinks and relax to some
Sunday, 7:30pm La Raiz: Luis, Juan-Jo
& Choko, great improvised classics. Free.
WW2EfW1i ;m? !v; "' -P 2M I
Friday, 7:30pm Mark Weinstein's Marco
Trio will perform a variety of jazz, blues &
rock 'n' roll.
Saturday, 7:30pm La Trova del Lago
featuring Juan Sisay, Carlos Rangel and Noe
I don't have a photograph, but you can have
my footprints. They're upstairs in my socks.
YIf yurbr rreturn hs ie uico argua
CHECK DATEBOOK CALENDAR LISTINGS FOR MORE CONCERTS AND SPECIAL MUSICAL EVENTS
THROUGHOUT THE MONTH
Monday The fabulous piano master Chris
Jarnach plays jazz and favorite tunes;
Circus Bar Latin Ensemble plays boleros, salsa,
son cubano and other Latin rhythms.
Tuesday Nayno Flamenco, Rumba and
Latin Ensemble, Trova del Lago.
Wednesday Nayno, Latin Ensemble.
Thursday, 7:30pm Carlos and Carlitos,
swing and Latin rhythms. Trova del Lago, trova.
Friday A fascinating show of Circus Bar
Saturday Los Vagabundos, hot rhythms in
a fusion of Rumba, Flamenco and Guatemalan
Sunday Latin Ensemble.
Music from the
Serrano (vocal), Israel Castillo (viola de
gamba) and Carolina Palomo (harpsi-
chord) bringing to life compositions by
Handel, Monteverdi, Marin Marais and
18th-century Guatemalan composers.
Donation Q100, students Q75. Museo de
Arte Colonial (tel: 5297-5481), 5a calle
Mayan Women's *
Culture Center (/?Th\
Oxlajuj B atz'
Thn.n mnd. ~Tnc.Iifr
The public is invited to the grand
opening of the Oxlajuj B'atz' Mayan
Women's Cultural Center in Panajachel
on Saturday, Dec. 18.
The mission of Oxlajuj B'atz' is to edu-
cate Maya women artisans to bring about
change, through their own efforts, that will
alleviate the adverse effects of poverty and
improve their quality of life.
The grand opening celebration will fea-
ture presentations about the organization's
educational workshops, speeches from
some of the over 360 women members,
weaving and rug-hooking demonstrations,
sale of fair trade products, chocolate sam-
pling, refreshments, live music, art, photo
exhibition and much more.
The event is free and open to the public.
The Fair Trade store opens at 10 a.m., the
Cultural Center doors open at 11 a.m. and
the official program is from noon to 2 p.m.
The store closes at 6 p.m. Come by and
learn more about how Guatemalan women
are changing the country.
Oxlajuj B'atz' is a project of Asociaci6n
Tejedoras Unidas (Komon Ajkem) and the
Maya Educational Foundation. It is located
in the historic Casa Kaqchikel building in
Panajachel, on Calle 14 de Febrero, just off
the main street, Calle Santander.
For more information: 7762-6245
revuemag.com < 27
1 Mon. & Tues., 14, 6pm (Span-
1 ish) FESTIVAL: Festival de Corto-
metrajes Jameson Notodofilmfest. Centro de
Formaci6n de la Cooperaci6n Espafiola
(tel: 7832-1276), 6a av. norte between 3a &
4a calle poniente, LaAntigua.
1 Tues., 5:30pm (English) TALK:
-'Life in Guatemala: Brief History and
Current Conditions by Sue Patterson, a for-
mer U.S. Consul General in Guatemala
who lives in Antigua and has served in
Chile, Iran and Italy. She is also the found-
er of WINGS, a non-profit dedicated to
reproductive health and family planning.
Donation Q25. Rainbow Caf6 (tel: 7832-
1919), 7a av. sur #8, LaAntigua.
1 4 Tues., 6pm (only one show this
1 month) (English) SLIDE SHOW:
Antigua: Behind the Walls with Elizabeth
Bell. Q30 benefits educational programs. El
Sitio (tel: 7832-3037), LaAntigua.
1 5Fri. POSADAS: Carts carrying
figures of St. Joseph and the Virgin
Mary go door-to-door searching for a place
to spend the night. A new house is sought
each evening until Christmas Eve, when
the posadas return to the church.
22,Wed., 5-8pm INAUGURATION: Grand opening of El F....-_ Galeria,
Guatemala's first and only photography gallery. Meet artists Tom Waters, Daniel
Chauche and Jon Kaplan, who combined have been taking photographs in Guatemala
for over 70 vears. El Fot6prafo Galeria, 5a av. norte #29. Calle del Arco, LaAntivua. v
1 6 hours 4pm CHRISTMAS
.I. POSADA: Enjoy a real posada,
sing Christmas carols, listen to traditional
sounds like tortugas, chinchines and whis-
tles. Ponche and traditional Christmas
food for sale. Donation Q35 adults / Q15
children. Museo Ixchel (tel: 2361-8081),
Centro Cultural UFM, 6a calle final z. 10,
17Fri., 5:30pm THEATER: How
S the Grinch Stole Christmas, with
an international cast including some 25
dancers and performers. Free. Centro de
Formaci6n y Cooperac6n Espafiola, 6a av.
norte between 3 & 4 calle, LaAntigua.
1 Sat., 11lam -ART: Encantos Chap-
Jines, paintings by students of art
professor Arturo Alvarez. Free. Cocktail.
El Sitio (tel: 7832-3037), 5a calle poniente
1 8Sat., 11am-2pm INAUGURA-
TION: Grand opening of Oxlajuj
B'atz' Mayan Women's Cultural Center &
Fair Trade Store. Weaving and rug-hook-
ing demonstration, local music, refresh-
ments, creative reading, presentations, Maya
women group representatives, raffle for Fair
Trade Store item, chocolate sampling and
more. See highlight on page 27. Free. Calle
14 de febrero, Casa Kaqchiquel, Panaja-
chel, LakeAtitldn. V
4c. a oe~t r, 5LiAltiPl)GPc"e") Tl 52 732214: a 0) 83 26
2 Thurs. WINTER SOLSTICE:
The Northern Hemisphere experi-
ences its longest night of the year. Older
cultures celebrated this night with fire to
coax the sun back to life.
2 Thurs., 5:30pm DANCE: Ma-
yan dances by indigenous children
from Nuevo Amanecer, K'a k'a' Saqarik -
Nuevo Amenecer or New Dawn, a charity
dedicated to helping more than 30 indige-
nous children in San Andr5s Itzapa. Dona-
tion Q25. Rainbow Caf6 (tel: 7832-1919),
7a av. sur #8, LaAntigua.
2 Fri., CHRISTMAS EVE: Last-
Jminute holiday preparations, gift
wrapping and cooking. Traditional food
and beverages include tamales and ponche;
10pm Christmas Mass / Misa de Gallo;
midnight Fireworks, families gather to
celebrate the birth of Christ and Peace on
Earth. A reminder: banks and some busi-
nesses close at noon and reopen Dec. 26.
SFri., 7pm NOCHE BUENA
-PARTY: Live music and lots of food.
La Pena de Sol Latino (tel: 7882-4468), 5a
calle poniente #15C, LaAntigua.
2 Sat., CHRISTMAS: Traditionally
5a quiet day, with the exception of fire-
crackers and bombas BOOMING at noon.
2 QTues., 5:30pm (English) TALK:
OU0Partnering with the Poor: I .. ".-
Education and Opportunity in Guatemala by
Jeff Barnes, Common Hope / Familias de
Esperanza, which partners with over 2,600
students and their families to break the cycle
of poverty. Donation Q25. Rainbow Caf6
(tel: 7832-1919), LaAntigua.
Fri., 7pm NEW YEAR'S EVE
1J PARTY: Door prizes, special menu.
Reservations suggested. La Pefia de Sol La-
tino (tel: 7882-4468), LaAntigua.
3 1 Fri., NEW YEAR'S EVE PARTIES:
SEverywhere, including the tradition-
al celebration in Antigua at Calle del Arco.
Live music and lots of fun, Guatemala.
THROUGHOUT THE MIVONTH
RT: Espacios Suspendidos by artist
Alfredo Garcia. Through Dec. 18. El
Attico, Sal6n del Coleccionista (tel: 2368-
0853), Guatemala City. V
M MULTIMEDIA &ART: A Tres Bandas,
material, aural and visual narrative of
musical mestizaje presented in Latin America
since the 16th century. Through Jan. 9. Cen-
tro de Formaci6n de La Cooperaci6n Espa-
nola (tel: 7832-1 276. La Antioqua.
I :0e0e] conti on page 34 1
A nursery with the most extensive variety of plants
and accessories for your home and garden
km 14.5 Centro Com
F Carretera a El
Monday t Iday 8 30
S Saturday 8 30 am
S t Sunday 9 30 am ti
Carretera al Atla
gMonday Satulday ho
1'-_ Sunday rom 9 0
December 12: Children all over Guatemala don traditional indigenous dress and carry the
image of the Virgin of Guadalupe, patron of the Americas, in procession through their parishes,
accompanied by fireworks, dances and stands of traditional foods. (CesarTin,www.revuemag.com)
5763 64 B a
am to 7 00 pm
to 6 00 pm
o 6 00pm
intlco 0-80, z.17
256 4564 Un Jarini P N
m 8 30 am to 5 30 pm e
0am to 4 30 pm eodo
Calle Mariscal 18-40, z.11 across the
street from Pro-ciegos
Telephone 2473 1941 2474 5194 Fax 24745254
Monday Friday hom 7 30 am to 5 30 pm
S Saturday h om 7 00 am to 6 00 pm
S Sunday h om 8 30 am to 4 30 pm ij//
G CY S Shppn
S(- n ri T ChuIrC. h
cc Cuo._ ,m.-a-.
Thursday Servies Sunday SMrvies
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Pot Modern &00 pm
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uniondchrthuutemiagginal a m uawlwtinrmdtuahtmulaarmucm
c 1D Tel: 2366-1031 Fax:2366-1034
^iom GMon-Fri:9-1&3-6 Sat:9-1
All the latest books in English
3a av. 17-05, z.14 Edif. Casa Alta
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A SA The best rates, with the
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full coverage insurance
4a calle"A"16-57, zona Guatemala City
Tels: 2220-2180, (502) 5293-7856, 5205-8252
I once bought my kids a set ofbatteries
for Christmas with a note on it saying,
toys not included. -Bernard Manning
Sj g Business Directory
I. i '1 1l ILodging, Dining, Ser r ,I 1. .I I 1, ravel,etc
0-L S ERVC
Sevie ((hppn ((UAEML CITY
I love the Christmas-tide, and yet,
A Christmas candle is a lovely thing; I notice this, each year I live;
t mI notice this, each year I live;
It makes no noise at all, I always like the gifts Iget,
But softly gives itselfaway. But how I love the gifts I give!
Eva Logue --Carolyn Wells
The only specialists in Bedding Mfr...We handle all types of Beds.
American know-how, with 40 years in the market.
All sizes of Beds: Inner Spring Mattresses, Box Springs or hard bases.
S.A. Beautiful Fabrics. We follow A.B.A. standards and norms.
S ffiure Headboards, Night Tables, Wood Chests, Dining & Living room Furniture.
4ds & Fi Custom-made Beds & Furniture. Will deliver.
7a Av. 2-28. Zona 9 Guatemala City Tel: 2332-4951 TelFax: 2332-7788
All kns of naietxie
Wood leathe & more
Fabrics by the yard
18 calle 21-31, z.10 Blvd Los Prdceres www.in-nola.com
Telephones: 2367-2424, 2337-4498
A RT: Art Harvest, exposition and sale of
works by well-known artists. Museo
Ixchel (tel: 2361-8081), Centro Cultural
UFM, 6a calle final z. 10, Guatemala City.
ART: Creche (the Adam's collection). La
Galeria (tel: 7762-2432), Panajachel,
PHOTOGRAPHY: Necrdpolis, beauty
and mistery, photos by Brenda Galin-
do and Flor de Maria Santizo, presented by
Fundaci6n G&T Continental and Museo
San Juan del Obispo. Through Jan. 15. Pa-
lacio Arzobispal, San Juan del Obispo,
A CTIVITIES (Spanish) for children,
teens & adults incl. Reading Clubs;
Art Workshop; Storytelling & Chess
Workshop. For more info., contact Libreria
Infantil El Hormiguero (tel: 2368-3855),
20 calle 25-96, z. 10, C.C. La Plaza, L15,
M ondays, 4:30pm; Tuesdays, 2:30pm;
Wednesday, 2:30pm; Thursdays,
4:30pm BRIDGE TOURNAMENTS:
Guatemalan Duplicate Bridge Association;
contact Denni: 2478-1649, Lucy: 2369-
0103 or Eva: (La Antigua) 7832-4327. 12
av. 2-59, z. 15 Colonia Tecin Umin, Gua-
M on. through Fri., 2-6pm AC-
TIVITIES FOR KIDS: Free, but
register in advance at the front desk. Cen-
tro de Formaci6n de la Cooperaci6n Espa-
iola (tel: 7832-1276), 6a av. norte between
3a & 4a calle poniente, LaAntigua.
T ues., Wed. & Thurs., 7:30pm -
(Spanish) TEATRO COMEDIA:
Sdnese Quien Pueda, una comedia que te
contagiard de risa. A beneficio de la fun-
daci6n para Sindrome de Down Margarita
Tejeda. Donaci6n Q100. Reservaciones a
los tels. 4917-9190, 2261-0887. Restaurant
La Estancia, 12 calle 7-69, Plazuela Espaia
z. 9, Guatemala City. V
Fridays, 5-6pm- (English) READING
CLUB, also ask about the NEW BOOK
EXCHANGE PROGRAM. IGA (tel: 2411-
5555), 9a av. 0-31, z. 4, Guatemala City.
Authentic brick oven
Boulevard Los Proceres 12
Av. Esquina zona 10
ROM ANO San Crist6bal: 4003-0061
RANO Centro Comercial Mix, Local 19-B
P I Z Z E R I A www.pizzaromano.com
Every man regards his own life as the
New Year's Eve of time. -Jean Paul Richter
Wi-Fi Lunch Specials
Happy Hour 11-5
Near all Major Hotels. 13 called la av, zona 10,
Slocal5 Torre Santa Clara II Tel:2331-2641
The gist of New Year's Day is: Try again.
Be always at war with your vices, at peace with
your neighbors, and let each new year find you
abetter man. -Benjamin Franklin
.. THE TALE IS SETl
The Fest in Fresh
Fruits ~f Vegetables
produced avd packaged
with ynur health in mind
M-F 8:307pn Sat 8:30-2pm la r
S1 calle 4-44, Z.10 a ,
uatemala City TelFax:2363-2682
-------- o V l in
1B ak A 7 averidi .
plaza iany t 23f
Best Buffalo Wings in Guatemala
60's & 70's Rock
Big Screen TV
3 Pool Tables
SPOfRTS BAR Darts Cold Beer
Mon-Sat 9am-lam and Sun Ipm-midnightish
13 calle 0-40, Z.10 T/F: 2368-2089
We accept AMEX, VISA, MC, Diners, Credomatic
GUTML CIY) Dinin
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4 Open Mon-Sat 12p n I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try
The only aut c to keep it all the year. -Charles Dickens
The only authentic
Italian restaurant in the Nothing's as mean as giving little child some-
Centro Hist6rico thing useful for Christmas. -Kin Hubbard
11 calle 6-83, zona 1, Guatemala City Good resolutions are simply checks that men
TelFax: 2232-9496 firstname.lastname@example.org www.ciao.com.qt draw on a bank where they have no account.
Christmas is a season for kindling the fire Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning
for hospitality in the hall, the genial flame but a going on, with all the wisdom that
of charity in the heart. -Washington Irving experience can instill in us. -Hal Borland
I wish we could put up some of the Christmas An optimist stays up until midnight to see the
spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month, new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure
-Harlan Miller the old year leaves. -Bill Vaughan
SPetQ's&A's byCynthia Burski,DVM
The sounds of the holiday season also include the booming and rat-a-tat-tat,
ear-splitting echoing of fireworks and firecrackers that terrifies many dogs.
Can they outgrow this fear?
It is definitely a myth that dogs will eventually outgrow a fear of the sound of fire-
crackers, thunder or other loud noises. Phobias are intense fear responses that are out
of proportion to the real threat of the situation. Although there is value in knowing
what originally caused a particular phobia, fortunately this information is not neces-
sary to treat it. Gradual exposure, desensitization and counter-conditioning have been
Try to expose your dog to the stimulus without evoking fear. For example, first
by hearing a single firecracker set off at a long distance, say 100 yards or so. You then
progressively, but gradually, bring the one firecracker nearer without evoking fear. The
next step is to start over at 100 yards with two firecrackers and to repeat the process
with increasing numbers of firecrackers. Each time your pet hears the firecrackers)
without showing fear reaction, give him a food reward and praise him. Each session
should be about 40 minutes long and can be repeated daily or even twice daily if all is
going well. If a fear response is evoked at any level, back up and start again.
Dinn ((UTML CITY
A "Classic" in the center of
Guatemala City & now in Zone 10
Specializing in Spanish and Basque
Cuisine, Seafood and Paella
5a av. 12-31, Zona 1
Tels: 2251-7185, 2253-6743
10 calle 0-45, Zona 10 Tels: 2332-6576,
TRADITION text and photos by Jason Kennedy
Face to face with
El Cristo Negro
sk most Guatemaltecos what's in
Chiquimula and they'll probably tell
ou: "El Cristo Negro," often fol-
lowed by, "that is all there is in Chiquimula."
Undaunted by such disparaging remarks
and the prospect of a long journey, I set out
from Guatemala City on a trip that would
end in the Basilica of Esquipulas, face to face
with El Cristo Negro (the Black Christ).
The city of Esquipulas is a five-hour
drive from the capital in the department of
Chiquimula, which is in eastern Guatema-
la, close to the borders of Honduras and El
Salvador. The Catholic faith arrived in the
region in 1525, brought by the Conquista-
dors, and after intense resistance waged by
the indigenous inhabitants, a peace
treaty was signed in 1530. After
this reconciliation, a church was
founded in honor of Santiago, the
patron saint of Spain, and it was
here that the rise of El Cristo Negro
was initiated in 1595.
The sculpture was commissioned
the previous year by Bishop Mo-
rales, from Portuguese artist Quirio
Catafio, a long-term resident of the
area, who was familiar with its par-
Made from lemon wood and dark-
ened further with the fumes from
incense, El Cristo Negro was in-
stalled in March 1595. For the
next century and a half, it resided
in the church of Santiago until, in
1759, it was transported a kilome-
ter or so to the newly built Church
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I-7 ,,, I1.,..: 13o:,,
Feel -u,,i-wri, & rehlxteil
oil 110111 11,4-,-Val!
of Esquipulas, where it stands today. (The
imposing church was upgraded to basilica
status in 1961.)
Throughout the centuries, numerous mira-
cles have been attributed to El Cristo Negro,
and large displays inside the church docu-
ment these personal stories. For many cen-
turies, visitors were at liberty to approach
and kiss the statue, and did so fervently. But
wear and tear have since dictated that El
Cristo Negro retire behind a glass screen; he
is now watched over by a security camera.
As I stood there, waiting my turn, pigeons
flew in from a hole in the dome, swirling in
circles and swooping into the midst of an
ongoing service. Nobody paid any notice.
The man in front took care as he photo-
graphed the statue with his cellphone, and
after a few silent moments before the figure,
he retreated, walking backward away from
El Cristo Negro, a traditional Catholic show
of respect when visiting such icons.
Walking around the outside of the
church, visitors may be surprised to discover
a second El Cristo Negro, in a covered area
where thousands of candles burn, these of-
ferings tended to diligently by a priest. This
El Cristo Negro is a recently commissioned
replica, a practical measure that permitted
the candles to be relocated outside, as over
the years they had significantly damaged
the basilica floor.
The most important day at the basilica is
January 15, when thousands of pilgrims
flock to Esquipulas from all over Latin
America in scenes reminiscent of Semana
Santa in La Antigua. The people come both
to request assistance from El Cristo Negro
and to fulfill promises to return, made in
exchange for assistance that was gratefully
Many visitors, in a display of humility, ap-
proach the basilica on hands and knees, crawl-
ing the few hundred meters or so from the
entrance to the park, up the steps, and into
the church itself, before joining the long lines
waiting for their turn with El Cristo Negro.
Having made the journey myself, without
knowing what I would find, I was delighted
to discover such a magnificent building and
so many rich details of the experiences that
have occurred there. One cannot help but
be impressed by the atmosphere that cen-
turies of reverence and awe have created
around the figure of El Cristo Negro, and
with the thought of the many thousands
who have passed here before, each with their
own unique story.
While there may be a grain of truth in the
notion that all Chiquimula offers visitors by
way of attractions is El Cristo Negro at the
Basilica of Esquipulas, the church stands
as a singular statement of religious faith in
Guatemala. A visit there can be at once a
pleasure and an inspiration. 0
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r 'lDI i
i.-i.:-l." is just a stew of copper
,i,.1 ilininum, found in Turkey
i. in n uch of the world, a soft
stone that's a symbol for December and the
holiday season. Turquoise was on the list of
paint colors approved by the Spanish Co-
lonial governments, and many little tiendas
and homes continue to be painted turquoise
blue. When our neighbor painted his house
and door turquoise, he used the extra paint
to cover his pickup, so it now blends into
the walls when parked outside.
Pools of turquoise waters form at many of
Guatemala's hot springs. My favorites may be
the resort ofSemuc Champey near Coban, in
the Alta Verapaz Highlands, and the nearby
Grotto of Lanquin, with pleasant year-round
camping by the warm turquoise waters.
Most of magnificent Lake Atitlin is rich
garnet blue, not at all turquoise. But just
a few miles from Panajachel, off the village
of Santa Catarina Palop6, the Bay of Pefia
de Oro stretches from the sandy beach in
a soft turquoise. Mornings, fishermen's ca-
noes seem to float on a polished altar of tur-
quoise, the dark volcano backdrop accentu-
ating the light blue bay.
Turquoise-bodied hummingbirds work
Guatemalan flowers year-round, not both-
ering to migrate north or south as do most
of their hummingbird cousins. The Maya
tell a legend of our hummingbirds pro-
tecting a young Maya chief, wounded in
battle. When the wounds proved too grave,
the hummingbirds created the quetzal bird
from the chief, and hummingbird designs
are still common on Mayan weavings.
Spanish padres during the Colonial cen-
turies accepted pieces of turquoise found
occasionally by miners. Look for these tur-
quoise accents in most chapels and churches,
reminders of December's birthstone and the
light blue color that's beloved worldwide. O
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Tels: 7832-7945 5096-6694 ~ English spoken
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Monday Friday 8am-12pm & 2-6pm
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5a calle poniente final #27B, La Antigua
Tel:7821-5741 Email: email@example.com
Dr. Barbara Massette n i r.;..; .I 1. .,,
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OJ Ana IbargLien
S Master's Degree in Oriental
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Appointments: (502) 5517-1796
firstname.lastname@example.org 3a av. norte #20-A La Antigua
with Traditional Acupuncture
Tel: 5132-1839 email@example.com
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La Antigua Guatemala 24-69 zona 10, Torre 1 Of 10-07
Empresarial Zona Pradera
I. i r m i -, i- re C 1, ic r pi,, i c c Ig
In 1978, the incredible possibilities that
reproductive medicine could offer had not
yet been envisioned. After about 80 failed
attempts in different women, the first child
conceived through In Vitro Fertilization
(IVF) was born. Now about 4 million babies
are conceived with this technique
Louise Brown, the world's first "test tube
baby," was born July 25th, 1978 after an
innovative procedure performed by Dr.
Robert Edwards and Patrick Steptoe. Dr.
Edwards was recently honored with the
Nobel Prize in Medicine for his work.
With greater technological development,
the IVF procedure has evolved a great deal.
Since 1998 Clinica Santa Maria, a
specialized center in Reproductive
Medicine in Guatemala, has offered this
technology under the supervision of
Director Juan Francisco Solis Berciin, M.D.
Many children have been born in Guatemala
as a result of these techniques.
Contact us at
Phone: (502) 23857578 / 79 / 80
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2a avenida norte #3, La Antigua Guatemala
LL Tel: 7832-0275 Hours: Mon-Fri 8-12 & 2:30-6:30
A good conscience is a continual Christmas.
dermalogica ilas a mrr,.ed.
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Mon-Fr 10am-1pm & 4pm-7pm Sat 9am-lpm
Edificio Broceta 11 calle 1-25, Zona 1 Guatemala City
Tels: 2221-2195 196, 5899-4340, 5412-7994 Home: 2434-6647
A" --- 1' In
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det i st in "n I r.
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Tels: 5482-6323, 7831-1120
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m Libreia Bookstore
Latest Titles Books on C.A. & Mexico
+ Large selection of Maps & Art
5a av norte #4, Antigua
Central Park TelFax: 7832-3322
Best tours Best Bikes Best price
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tj Ecellen (coffee
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Tels 7832,2824 WELLA
Cel, 5961 4332
Once again, we come to the Holiday Season,
a deeply religious time that each of us observes,
in his own way, by going to the mall of his choice.
We will open the book. Its pages are blank.
We are going to put words on them ourselves.
The book is called Opportunity and its first
chapter is New Year's Day. -Edith Lovejoy
revuemag.com < 51
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The closest you can be with nature
See our blodiversirv plants. ,nsecls
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Come and ride a bicycle with your
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Daily coffee tours ~i-N
We are open 365 days a year.
J- e m mim n
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Capuchinas, next to the
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( 8 30 10 30 12 30 & 13 30
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el Viejo, next to Pora
A comprehenSive jOurney
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Calle del Hermano Pedro No. 8A Antigua Guatemala
Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living
things, man will not find peace. -Albert Schweitzer
I Ii.nmnd Heights, AWARE's no-kill animal refuge, is current-
I\ .I altering between 250-270 dogs and over 80 cats. For
animal adopted, more and more take their place.
i's so easy to "rescue" an animal. Next comes the hard
I i these dogs and cats (of all ages, in all manner of con-
I 1., .1) need medical attention, spaying/neutering, vaccinat-
i I hey need to be housed and comforted, fed and walked,
I. lied ... many will live out their lives at Hound Heights,
S....I for by human kindness and generosity. They deserve
I ..s. Just because they don't have a home, doesn't mean
S i I. i don't deserve a life.
For more information on pet adoptions, giving
donations, pet fostering or sponsoring, please visit:
Hound Heights, Aldea Pachaj, Interamericana km 40, Sumpango
Guatemala email@example.com Tels:7833-1639,5401-3148
I totally take back all those times I didn't want
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I have a hard time deciphering the fine line Instead of loving your enemies, treat
between boredom and hunger. -Daniel Brick your friends a little better. -David Spade
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Mayan art with
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El Sol Maya 6a calle orente 49 Antigua
'ah n. LOA tiqua-
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Alameda Santa Lucia Norte #121 cromrom Le cuncu 7832-0813
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Tuesday-Sunday 11 am 7 pm Home delivery and pick-up
SZ3aou igue _ls
ll oiete i hotel: 78326504
i 5acalleponiente#1,La Antigua- Tel: 7832-6504
Of all sound of all bells... most solemn and
touching is the peal which rings out the Old Year.
puntos y pixeles
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The Old Year has gone. Let the dead past bury
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At Christmas, "It's a Wonderful Life" makes Tradition: sit
me cry in exactly the same places every time, by tree lights
even though I know it's coming. outnumber th
with loved one in a room lit only
and remember that our blessings
e lights. Happy Christmas to all.
-Betsy Canas Garmon
7a calle poniente #8 Tel: 7832-3481
STue-Sun 9:30am-:30pm (osed Monday)
GUATEMALA CITY: 12 calle 5-03, z.10
Tel:2332-2239 Daily 9am-6pm, Sat: 9am-1pm
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lsoeal 232, 20 plant
Tif: 2474 13 44
Cacao vs Pataxte cont. from page 17
version was finalized. Cacao may have been
part of the mythology in the Peten version of
the Popol Vuh.
Or, it could be that most interpretations
of the remarkable Verapaz-area vase of the
Museo Popol Vuh are wrong; that it is not
cacao, but really a gourd, jicaro, Crescentia
cujete or morro, Crescentia alata.
Cacao is a fascinating topic to study
My experience with cacao started at age 19,
when I discovered what at first I thought
were remains of frijoles in a 9th century
polychrome funerary vase. These beans,
however, were unlikely frijoles; they were
much more likely cacao beans.
I had "beginner's luck" back then in
1965, because the Tikal pyramid that I was
excavating for the University of Pennsylva-
nia Tikal Project turned out to be one of
the most fabulous tombs found at Tikal. I
wrote my 400 page Harvard undergradu-
ate thesis on this Tomb of the Jade Jaguar
(available on our web site in electronic for-
We need to question all other pre-Co-
lumbian representations that are always au-
tomatically stated to be "cacao." Many are
actually pataxte, which is a species very dif-
ferent in several respects from cacao.
We at FLAAR Mesoamerica wish to
continue our 3D laser-scanning project so
we can determine whether the 4th-9th cen-
tury Classic Maya effigy containers show
cacao or pataxte. So join us on our field
trips to discover more about digital photog-
raphy that helps advance knowledge of the
iconography and ethnobotany of Mayan
civilization and the cultures they intersect-
ed with such as far-away Teotihuacin. c
Lacao seeas (above) ana pataxte seeas ame Leonaro)
Acknowledgements: We thank Sofia Paredes, curator, and Fernando Paiz for access to the cacao
effigy containers in the La Ruta Maya Foundation collections of repatriated Mayan art. We thank
Ana Claudia de Suasnavar of El Paseo de los Museos, Susana Campins, curator, and Edgar Casti-
1lo of Museo VIGUA de Arte Precolombino y Vidrio Moderno, also Hotel Casa Santo Domingo
for access to their collections. And we thank the Nottebohm family for access to photograph their
important Tiquisate-area incensario.
Dr. Nicholas Hellmuth is director of FLAAR Reports (Foundation for Latin American Anthropo-
logical Research). For more information visit .. rg. He adds: If you are inter-
ested in donating to help us acquire a scanner to bring to Guatemala to help ,:.. ,, projects, please let us
know, frontdesk@FLAAR.org. Then we can teach you,:.. ,:3,,,: 3D scanning, both for artifacts, as well
as the interesting tropical plants that are native to Guatemala, plus fascinating animals of the Peten
rainforests, andfruits such as cacao andpataxte.
deli & garden restaurant
Open D, il lOam-lOpm 3a avenida norte #11-B, La Antigua Tel: 7832-5545
A G Di
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OpehMoh-$u h Pfl6AH ( pA
BEST COFFEE & "De l aiRiiaI
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i cafedelaira -a imil corn : ::::::
La AnuSua GuaeMialia Calfe-Restaj ilirai lilt
What I don't like about office Christmas parties
is looking for a job the next day.
Print. Web. PDF. Flashpaper. Facebook.
Tels: 7832-2767 & 4500-7921
6a av. sur #12B-2,
La Antigua Guatemala
Innkeeper: The room is $15 a night. It's $5 if you
make your own bed.
Guest: I'll make my own bed.
Innkeeper: Good. I'll get you some nails and wood.
[ Page-by-page online: revuemag.com
I t- I AV_110.1 \-It%: \., I- 1_1 A1111..4L1.1 ( 'Ll.11011.11.1
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En la esquina mrs popular de Antigua
Variety of special
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Virgen de Concepci6n celebration cont.from page20
for about an hour. Folkloric dances are per-
formed all day for one of the best fiestas in
The Dance of the 24 Devils, dedicated to the
Virgen de Concepci6n, is a satire with men
dressed as women, political tirades and daily
Many of Guatemala's folkloric dances
originated in the Iberian Peninsula and have
certainly acquired characteristics of their own
in local towns. The Dance of the 24 Devils
appears in Catalufia as early as 1150 and was
probably introduced in Guatemala in colo-
nial times. It is a theatrical dance between
good and evil with moral satire. Two of my
favorite figures are death and the monkey,
amongst others, who sing at the end of the
dance, asking the Virgin for her blessing.
centuries and became very popular in Madrid
at the end of the 16th century for Corpus
Christi. While we find this dance in Mexico,
it is very popular today in Ciudad Vieja.
The male devil figures represent arro-
gance, greed, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, la-
ziness and the monkey; the virtuous female
figures represent humility, generosity, chas-
tity, patience, moderation, charity, diligence
and the virgin.
Many other dances will catch your eye, in-
cluding the Baile de los Morosy Cristianos and
the loas with the Indian, the devil, the mayor,
the farm administrator and others represent-
ed in this dramatic theatrical presentation.
Fireworks, invented by the Chinese in the
12th century, may certainly be associated
with the devil, but all Catholic religious ac-
Another favorite is the Dance of the Seven tivities are celebrated with fireworks today
Vices and Seven Virtues. This medieval dance in Guatemala. All fiestas include great meals
originated in Europe in the 12th and 13th prepared and eaten at home. o
4 -1 tJ La.'
'-( ',, I I zrr,
*ii i icLL 4 I ::to
MESON Nekon I (111ding
HOTEL Y RESTAURANTE S(off Slantoll hin
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The cardio high and other pleasures of climbing Cerro de la Cruz
My body is a temple-a temple of
doom. Some of the erosion-hair,
hearing, back, knee-is beyond
my control now that I'm a 50-something.
Weight is another story. A good 5-10
pounds would melt away if I simply dropped
my beer habit, but in a town with noon-to-7
happy hours, that's not going to happen.
Several friends have had great results
from their gym and trainer. That route,
however, leads to setting appointments and
keeping a schedule, things I want to avoid
now that I've ditched corporate America.
So I climb Cerro de la Cruz (Hill of the
Cross) at least three times a week.
Located on the north side of La Anti-
gua, the hill rises a few hundred feet, with a
scenic park, giant cross erected in the 1930s
and several benches near its crest. All of
Antigua lies below, with Volcin Agua soar-
ing majestically on the horizon.
For those not up to the climb, a road
provides vehicle access to the park, too.
It's always a show up top. Kids fly kites
as their parents cheer them on. School-
children often squeal in delight as they
roll down the grassy knoll. Once a young
family brought their happy boxer puppies,
which had a field day frolicking among
other dogs and their owners.
Young lovers seek out quiet spots on the
fringes of the park to kiss and cuddle, if not
more-my Spanish tutor told me a joke
about it: 'Dos suben, tres bajan. (Two go up,
three come down.)
Contrary to what I've heard, it's always
been safe, at least for me. There's usually
an officer or two at the top and I almost
always encounter a couple of cops monitor-
ing activities along the path. The Antigua
tourist police will be glad to provide an
escort, just ask.
-( 2 7 C0 U f 6 5 4
Not only is the trudge up the 333 steps
an excellent cardio workout, just getting
there represents decent exercise for me, as
the park entrance is a 30-minute walk from
My first climb took about 12 minutes;
now that I've been doing it awhile, I've
shaved it down to about six minutes.
Friends tell me I've lost some weight, but
I'm not getting on the scale until I'm down
to the next notch on my belt.
Of course, the workout would be even
more effective if I didn't stop afterward to
knock back a few half-priced beers at one of
those long Antigua happy hours. 0
A G Di
Treats included (Dia de la Virgen de Guadalupe) -Cisar Tidn, www.revuemag.com
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There are some people who want to throw their Christmas is a time when kids tell Santa
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New Year's Day: Now is the accepted time to
make your regular annual good resolutions.
Next week you can begin paving the road to hell
with them as usual. -Mark Twain
Hotel & Restaurant
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5a calle poniente No. 8
(Closed on Wednesday)
If you want me to sing this Christmas song
with the feeling and the meaning, you better see
if you can locate that check. -Mahalia Jackson
SREVUE -- fun, free, informative
A traditional recipe from:
The Doia Luisa Xicotencatl
S1 pineapple, cubed
S1 papaya, cubed
S1 coconut, grated
4 ounces raisins
4 ounces prunes
1 cinnamon stick
/2 pound sugar
Put one gallon of water in a pot and
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de lal ,"1
5a avenida sur final #36'C' La Antigua Guatemala
Tel: 7832-7074 www.laescalonia.com
Packed house celebrates
patrons flocked to Rainbow Caf6-res-
taurant, bar, book exchange, reading
room-for its 18th anniversary celebration
A delight to travelers and locals alike in
La Antigua, Rainbow offers some of the
best breakfasts in town, along with salads,
sandwiches, homemade soups, fresh fruit
smoothies, crunchy salads and desserts to
In addition to its varied menu and book-
store, Rainbow (7 av. sur #8) also hosts in-
formative lectures at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays.
Live patio music starts nightly at 7:30 p.m.,
and happy hour is 5-7 p.m. daily.
Guests at Rainbow's 18th birthday cele-
bration enjoyed complimentary sangria and
music by Atonement and Efecto Kamikaze
in a festive setting at this Antigua favorite.
For more information visit www.rain-
bowcafeantigua.com. Better yet, just drop
by and see for yourself. 0 M
Darth Vader was heard saying, "Luke,
I know what you're getting for Christmas.
I've been feeling your presents."
SWorldwide Revue! www.revuemag.com
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INON SIML STEP
"WHA IS TH CIRCUAIO? is the key quetio yo mus ask.
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S are print p 1Ithciu.atio guara
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May all your troubles last as long as your
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Cheers to a new year and another chance
for us to get it right. -Oprah Winfrey
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Next to a circus there ain't nothing that packs up A lovely thing about Christmas is that it's
and tears out faster than the Christmas spirit. compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we allgo
-Kin Hubbard through it together. -Garrison Keillor
ust tell 'em, "lo vi en la revista REVUE" Highest circulation/lowestprice-per-unit
AN GU GUA MA0'
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The Cloister, originally a I "th century cloister.
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Yes Edie, there is a Santa.
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7a av. sur #3 La Antigua
email@example.com www. atatuana.com
H ASA RUSTICA
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Tel: (502) 7832 1118 Calle de Los Duelos #4, La Antigua
Christmas is nota time nora season, but
a state of mind. To cherish peace andgoodwill,
to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the
real spirit of Christmas. -Calvin Coolidge
Christmas carols always brought tears
to my eyes. I also cry at weddings. I should
have cried at a couple of my own.
e Ponga un banner en www.revuemag.com por Q100 adicionales por mes
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There is a remarkable breakdown of taste and in-
telligence at Christmastime. Mature, responsible
grown men wear neckties made of holly leaves
and drink alcoholic beverages with raw egg yolks
and cottage cheese in them. -P.J. O'Rourke
Aor t f
6h ~ in i 6 6
are eilg ttd o gret'ju ;i
The Zen of Pues
Long-running "Zen of..." series con
bound in time for Christmas shoppe
On his last day of sixth grade, D. Wayne
Coop's teacher, Mildred Lamb, made
him promise her that he would become a
professional writer someday. After 34 years
of practicing for this goal-while working
day jobs ranging from collecting recyclables
to tutoring math-his break came when
he submitted an article to the 2002 August
Revue magazine. Within months, the Revue
made him a staff writer.
Since then, he has penned hundreds of
Revue articles on every topic imaginable.
Among his most salient contributions was
the "Zen of ..." column, which ran for five
years and addressed the "zenniness" faced by
English speakers as they attempt to acquire
Spanish. Topics included participles, "AC/
DC" adjectives, bathroom-fixture euphe-
misms and the "por and para" conundrum.
The column began by accident. Wayne had
submitted a humorous, stand-alone article
about the ubiquitous word "pues." Revue
editors headlined the article The Zen ofPues,
and, as a result of requests for exploration
of other linguistic topics, the column was
born, complete with whimsical cartoons
drawn by the author.
Wayne ended the column in 2008 and
today writes the Lake Views column for the
Revue along with other stories from the Lake
Atitlin region. But fans of the earlier column
missed it, so Wayne recently compiled the
entire collection into a 120-page book that
takes its name from the first installment of
the column. It goes on sale this month. 0
The Zen ofPues may be purchased at the Revue office, 6a calle poniente #2 in La Antigua, and at the following locations:
GUATEMALA CITY Geminis Bookstore, 3a av. 17-05, zona 14, Edificio Casa Alta
El Hormiguero, 20 calle 25-96, zona 10, La Plaza, and 10a av. 10-50, zona 14, Plaza Futeca
LA ANTIGUA La Casa del Conde, 5a av. #4, Central Park
QUETZALTENANGO North and South Bookstore, 8a calle y 15 av. zona 1
PANAJACHEL Bus Stop Books, Centro Comerical El Dorado, near terminal Hotel Atitlan gift shop, Colonia San Buenaventura
86 > revuemag.com
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aPreviewed at the Moonlight Film Festival
Moonlight Film Festival in Panajachel
takes to the streets and beaches
A unique event in the first week of
December gives new meaning to
anajachel's description as a "lake-
At the fourth annual Cine bajo la Luna
(Moonlight Cinema), movie lovers who also
like nighttime beach society can have it both
ways. Local restaurants and other sponsors
will erect large monitors on the beach for
previews of movies by small and specialty
filmmakers. There will also be some "street
theatre" as monitors go up in other Pana-
jachel venues, such as Calle Salpores in Ju-
canyi and in nearby Santa Catarina Palop6,
another lakeside town.
Most of the films are shorts, ranging from
25 to 50 minutes; one film, La Ocarina, is
only 12 minutes. According to promoter
Lucia Escobar, there will be something for
everyone; in all, six genres are represented.
Among the culminating events at Pana-
jachel's public beach on Sat. Dec. 4 is the
"White Screen" (family film) offering, The
Aventures ofunahpu' and Luna, in Spanish,
featuring the animation of Alejo Cris6sto-
mo (55 minutes).
Not every part of the festival is devoted
to film. On Friday, Dec. 3, at the same
location, poets of every age will be given
the microphone to recite their work; this
event, in part led by children, is a perennial
-Dwight Wayne Coop
Li t lusic
Fri. & Sat.
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Oh, for the good old days when people would stop
Christmas shopping when they ran out of money.
At the lake's edge -J.B., www.revuemag.com
An Oa sV- ar:-
ji ...'i il=,
I~Lnt rl^lan ^1 Ij rir
In the heart of Panajachel Calle Santander l
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S Fonda del Sol
15 Confortables habitaciones
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Calle Principal 1-74, Z.2 Tel: 7762-1162 Panajachel
ILake Views -
Bringing the Heat
I fyou have never seen Fireproof it is worth
a watch: a movie with a serious theme that
is peppered with humor-or humored
with peppers. The theme is about preserving
marriage even in the face of fiery tribulation.
It is no accident that the protagonist and his
various foils are firefighters.
It has a hallmark scene that deserves to be
enshrined as much as the famous Five Easy
Pieces scene where Jack Nicholson erupts
because an insufferable waitress denies him
toast. In the Fireproofscene, one firefighter
dupes another into chugging an entire bot-
tle of Tabasco chile sauce, undiluted.
Tabasco, for you non-geography studs,
is a state of Mexico contiguous with our
Guatemala. And it is notable, among other
things, for its brand-name chili sauce made
from peppers that are positively thermonu-
clear in their heat value.
Before going on, we must mention another
peppery geographical entity, the Republic of
Chile, the second-longest country in the world
if you include the wedge of Antarctica that she
claims, which reaches all the way to the South
Pole. (Perhaps a country whose name evokes
heat needs some of Antarctica.) Military ana-
lysts rate Chile, despite her relative smallness,
as the third-strongest country in the Americas,
after the U.S. and Brazil. A small nation, like
Sparta or Prussia, able to wreak considerable
destruction in a hot war.
The etymology of this country's name
has no truck with chile peppers; the ortho-
graphy is purely accidental. The origins of
the former are mysterious, but that of the
fruit, is Nahuatl in origin. (Pssst: technical-
ly, chiles are fruits, but don't expect to find
chile-flavored Lifesavers.) After "discover-
ing" chiles from the Mesoamericans, some
of the Europeans started calling them chilis,
and this is the form of the word that entered
the Brady Bunch lexicon of mid-America
as the ironic and pidgin-sounding "chilly-
kahn-karny" or chili (beans) with meat.
But I see a second coincidence in the might
of the country and the might of the fruit.
Both are small and deceptively powerful.
Chiles come in more varieties than do dog
breeds, and they vary even more in shape,
color and intensity. Locally, the hottest vari-
ety seems to be the habanera, which is, or is
closely related to, the notorious Scots Bon-
net. This innocuous-looking chile resembles
a miniature wax pumpkin. But its incen-
diary power is so withering that if you eat
one in public, people nearby will remember
what they were doing at the moment you
ingested, or tried to ingest, ...cont on page 100
Finca San Buenaventura, Panajachel Solola
Tels: (+502) 7762-2060, 7762-1441
The great French Marshall Lyautey once asked his
gardener to plant a tree. The gardener objected
that the tree was too slow growing and would
not reach maturity for 100 years. The marshall
replied, "In that case, there is no time to lose,
plant it this afternoon." -John F. Kennedy
The bird of paradise alights only upon
the hand that does not grasp. -John Berry
e REVUE tiene la distribution mas efectiva
-The Lonely Planet
Yes, it's real
Another spectacular AtitlAn sunset...
Virgen del Rosario, Patrona de
la ciudad de Quetzaltenango
-Harry Diaz www.flickr.com/harrydiaz
roasted & ground
presence in our
Coffee Specialty Shop
Take it home or enjoy some in our caf6,
all imaginable variations of coffee drinks
C I Wt
ThE t e.c r pIoce ro ec
Tues Fri: Free Salsa Lessons.
Frenth press oliee. Hooka
Sjn Pedro 13 L3gun3 Tel .4222-8: