Xela Who?

Trip Start Aug 26, 2009
Trip End Apr 27, 2010

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Flag of Guatemala  ,
Saturday, September 5, 2009

Though I enjoyed living in a beautiful place next to the lake, I'm a city boy and had to stay somewhere where there is a little more going on.  So Dave and I took our first chicken bus from San Pedro to Quetzaltenango.  A chicken bus is a US school bus that has gotten too old or too much mileage to continue operation in the States but is the main form of public transportation in most of Central America.

We had been warned by so many people about the problems with chicken buses.  We were very cautious about our first bus and chose one that would be least crowded and direct to our destination.  We were prepared to fight off little old thief grandmas trying to steal our stuff (something that does happen), but it turned out just to be a really annoying, bumpy 3 hour ride.  We weren't even the only Gringos as we chatted with some Israelis through the trip.

Quetzaltenango (ket-sal-ti-nang-go) or Xelaju (shay-la-who) as everyone
called it was my home for most of my trip.  The second largest city in
Guatemala, Xela was a popular spot for gringos like myself looking to
learn Spanish.  Dave and I debated a few locations for learning Spanish but we ended up choosing a school we both enjoyed -- Celas Maya. One of the great
things about this place was it was really geared to getting you into understanding Xela and Guatemala.  They planned exursions every day and also had an in house travel company that took you to all parts of Guatemala.  It was a great way to start understanding my country of residence for four months.

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