Xela Football Game

This post comes a little late but two weekends ago, the group enjoyed a wonderful evening at the local football game for Guatemala’s national league. The group was very grateful for the opportunity to watch the local team Xela, take on Guatemala City (the capital) in the semi final match with a packed stadium of Xela supporters. Although it rained fairly heavily for the first half of the game, the spirits of the group and other supporters certainly was never dampened. The game also provided the group with the opportunity to learn some Spanish vocabulary that they’d never learn in class.
The final result wasn’t
favourable, with Guatemala City winning and qualifying for the finals, but a good time was had by all!



In celebration of having completed two amazing weeks so far in Guatemala, I would like to share with you photos of some funny memories the group has experienced thus far.

As we look on to our last week here in Quetzaltenango, I’d like to express my gratitude for such a dynamic group of travellers we have, for the tasty food we’ve been fed, for the wonderful excursions we have participated in and for the friendly people that have taken us in with open arms.

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Image 1: Alena and Manolo enjoying the small things in lif

Image 2: Group excursion to Pollo Campero (Guatemalan KFC, without the terrible tummy ache after)

Image 3: Sara and Dilani practicing their smiles !


A relaxing Sunday at the Thermal Waters

Following a rather physically active Saturay of mountain climbing, the group had a chance to relax in the thermal waters of Las Georginas.

Located in the crook of the Zunil mountains, Las Georginas is an intimate and peaceful place to bathe in the warmth of volcano heated waters.

As the day passed, more and more visitors arrived and by 2pm when we were all swam out, we left the mountains in a nice thick fog.


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Mountain Climbing at La Muela

This past Saturday the group went on an exciting hike to La Muela, a mountain that resulted from an ancient volcano eruption.

Although physically strenuous, the hike was absolutely worth it! The view atop the mountain was spectacular, not to mention a nice little guard dog named Pinta followed us all the way to the top.

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¡Feliz Cumpleaños a Mí! -Happy Birthday to Me!

This post is a bit late, but the day I celebrated birthday is still fresh on my memory. On Thursday, May 8 I had my 20th birthday here in Xela (shorter Mayan name for Quetzaltenango).

In the morning, we followed our regular routine and went to the school to help in different classes. In the afternoon, we assisted in various clubs (Dilani and Sara in Singing Club, Klaus in Chess Club and me (Madison) in Football (soccer) Club).

But after the clubs, the fun began! To celebrate Alena’s birthday (on May 13th) and my birthday that day, we had two piñatas! The first was the piñata I had selected, and the other was a giant clown! Out of view from the students, we filled them completely full of candy.

I got to swing at it first; but it was way more difficult than I thought. After being blindfolded, you must spin in circles according to your age. I had to spin 20 times! Forget hitting the piñata, it was a challenge just to remain standing. After I swung many times (unsuccessfully), the children got to swing starting from the youngest. As the children got older, or when any adults attempted to swing, other adults would pull on the piñata strings in different directions to make it dance and move towards and quickly away from the person madly swinging at it. When it was Manolo’s turn, they actually made the clown piñata stand on his head without him realizing it! When the piñatas broke, all of the children grabbed the candy rapidly but would kindly share their candy collections with the younger children who were not as fast to grab some.

After piñatas, I was brought out a clown birthday cake and everyone sang Happy Birthday in English and Spanish (Feliz cumpleaños a tí).

After I blew out the 20 candles, Alena told me to take off my eye glasses. I did not know of the tradition to “bite the cake”. The children count to my age from uno (1) to veinte (20) and then I have to use only my mouth to take a bite of the cake. Except, the “bite” ended being my face completely in the cake. Often somebody behind will push the face of birthday celebrator into the cake. For me, they waited until I was ready to “take the bite” before “assisting”. It wasn’t easy to wipe off (cake in my hair!) but very fun and everyone was very excited that I accepted and took part in the tradition.

Expecting this outcome, Alena and Jorge, the school director, had secretly bought a second cake that everyone got to eat.

Later that night we had even more desserts and pastries that the group surprised me with. (We had thought originally that we would lose weight in Guatemala…)

What a way to celebrate my 20th birthday! I will remember it forever!

¡Piñata 2!

¡Piñata Uno!

Cake Fun

Bite the Cake!



On a specific street corner in Quetzaltenango, you will frequently find some Canadian students on their phones…

This past week, the group had trouble connecting to the Wifi at school and at the internet cafe. As a result, we were unable to update the blog 😦

Luckily, this week we stumbled upon a new discovery! We canvery subtly  use the Wifi from Restaurant Don Carlos Xela located across the street from what we now call the “Happy corner”.



Visit to Museo Ixkik’ del Traje Maya

Yesterday the group had a major treat when they visited the Museo Ixkik, a museum in Quetzaltenango that displayed Mayan clothing and items from different regions throughout Guatemala. The group learned about the meanings and symbolisms behind different colors in the Mayan culture, as well as how the clothing and fabrics were made. Watching Mayan women weave the cloth was especially interesting and made everyone realize what a tedious process it was to produce the many beautiful cloths which we’ve seen throughout our time in Guatemala. It was definitely an eye-opening experience!

If you are interested in learning more about Museo Ixkik, please visit their website at: http://www.museoixkik.org/

Below is a photo of the group with our tour guide at the museum.