Quick Guatemalteco Cultural Synopsis

List compiled in April 1999 by Brian Foley

Top 2 Songs in Guatemala (played daily eventually, no matter where you might be) -

  • 1. "Could This Be Love?" by Bob Marley and the Wailers
  • 2. A dance remix with a sample of "Could This Be Love?" by some latino techno group.
  • 3. "Do You Believe in Love?" by Cher

Songs I was hoping never to hear again that I've heard more than once -
  • 1. "Fox on the Run" by The Sweet
  • 2. "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion (there's no getting away from this one I'm afraid)
  • 3. "Do You Believe in Love?" by Cher

Price of a good cup of coffee: 75 cents (4.5 quetzales).
Price of a really bad cup of coffee: 15 cents (1 quetzal).

Price for a room (per night) in Quetzaltenango (referred to as Xela from here on out) where lots of gringos stay (includes electrical outlet to plug laptop into): $2.85 (20 quetzales).

Price for a room (per night) in Antigua (does not include electrical outlet for laptop): $2.50 (17 quetzales).

Price for a room (per night) in San Pedro la Laguna on Lk. Atitlan (electrical outlet cross-wired with the light for the room so it blinks intermittently while recharging batteries): $1.40 (10 quetzales).

Price for a good ham and cheese sandwich (restaurant in Xela): 8 quetzales.
Price for a good ham and cheese sandwich (restaurant in Antigua): 15 quetzales.

Price for a mediocre beer identical in character to Budweiser (restaurants everywhere): 8 quetzales.
Price for that same beer at a little corner store: 4.5 quetzales

Number of deaths in Guatemala during Semana Santa (Holy Week) due to traffic accidents: ~57
Reported armed robberies: ~241

Number of religious processions I saw during Semana Santa in Antigua: ~15

Number of student demonstrations I saw the week before Semana Santa in Xela: 2
Damage caused by the students to local businesses with black oil/paint and graffiti, in Xela and Guatemala City, in quetzales: ~ 20,000,000 Q
Cost to pay the students not to paint your business (money supposedly to go to student activity funds and organizations to help the poor, but just as likely to go to their beer fund): 500 to 50,000 quetzales, depending on the size of the business.
Job the students did painting McDonalds in Xela: Really good and thorough - McDonalds was closed the day following the paintjob.

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