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Guatemala’s 20S protests

Yesterday was an exciting day for all guatemalans. We are sick of these corruption. We reproduce this article from Telesur Tv

Guatemalan citizens across the country are taking to the streets to protest a recent National Assembly decision that made it easier for elected officials to escape punishment for illegally financing elections while reducing prison time for those convicted.

The action comes as three government ministers have stepped down over ongoing political turmoil: Finance Minister Julio Hector Estrada, Labor Minister Leticia Teleguario and Interior Minister Francisco Rivas. They agreed to remain in their posts until replaced.

The nationwide protest, declared a “national strike,” is also being held to protest a decision to impede the U.N. International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala, Cicig, investigation into President Jimmy Morales. The former comedian is being accused of illegally financing his 2015 presidential campaign.

The protest is coordinated by the social movement Justice Now, which was formed in 2015 to end political corruption and impunity in Guatemala. The movement includes hundreds of civil society organizations, universities, high schools and businesses throughout the country.

Anti-government protests have been held almost daily since Sept. 15.

Protesters are demanding that Guatemala’s electoral laws be reformed in order to combat government impunity. They are also demanding that National Assembly members who voted in favor of last week’s decision step down.

Three weeks ago, Morales tried to expel Cicig Director Ivan Velasquez, a move which the Guatemalan Supreme Court blocked. Velasquez is not only investigating the president for an unaccounted US$825,000 during his election campaign, but also his son and brother, who are both suspected of being involved in the mishandling of funds.

During his opening speech to the 72nd U.N. General Assembly in New York, Morales hailed the work of Cicig, adding that he hoped to “improve the commission’s role by ensuring due prosecution, presumption of innocence and to avoid selective prosecution and the politicization of justice.”

Special prices 2017 – Spanish courses

Spanish is easy with the right method. During 2017 our one-on-one course at only $105/20 hours. Lessons are also available on Skype for only $80/10 hours

Guatemala Visa… Do you need it?

If you are planning to visit Guatemala, check this list. Citizens from the  following countries don’t need a visa for visits up to 90 days:

Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guam, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saint Vicent and Grenadines, Saint Lucia, San Kitts and Nevis, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Spain, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Tuvalu, Ukraine, UAE, UK, Uruguay, USA, Vanuatu, Vatican and Venezuela.

Costs: Simple Visa and Tourist Visa $25 valid for a single entry; Multiple Visa $50 valid for multiple entries (valid for 90 days), Business Visa $50 for multiple entries (valid for 180 days)

Images from http://www.investinguatemala.org

 

Las Posadas en Antigua

According to Encyclopedia Britannica  :

 

Las Posadas, ( Spanish: “The Inns”) religious festival celebrated in Mexico between December 16 and 24. Las Posadas commemorates the journey that Joseph and Mary made from Nazareth to Bethlehem in search of a safe refuge where Mary could give birth to the baby Jesus. When they were unable to find lodging in Bethlehem, Joseph and Mary were forced to seek shelter in a stable, where the Christ child was born.

 

In general, for Guatemalans las posadas indicates the beginning of the Christmas season. The distinctive sound of the turtle’s carapace reverberate in the nighttime air. The smell of ponche sweetens the streets.

The Posadas are like tiny processions that symbolize the journey of Mary and Joseph from Nazareth to Jerusalem and their search for a place to spend the night. This tradition originates in Spain where they are called Jornadillas and this tradition is typical of many Latin American countries. Posadas are celebrated in Guatemala from December 16th to the 24th.

The posadas start off small and gather more and more people as they walk, until a large crowd is walking through the streets by the evening. People carry candles protected by cellophane and sing hymns as they walk. When the procession arrives at each house, they ask for posada (accommodation, lodging)  you can see as they progress to different houses, they are at first denied and then welcomed in, blessing the last house as they enter.

When peopel enter, they will be offered food and drink, the type depending on the economic status of the house.

Some vegan vocabulary

Vegan Foods

rice = arroz
wheat = trigo
beans = frijoles
chick peas = garbanzos
soya  = soja
tofu = queso de soja
soymilk = leche de soja
vegetables = vegetales
greens = verduras
corn = maíz
squash = calabaza
Güisquil is a common variety of squash.
potato = papa
fries = papas fritas
cabbage = repollo
tomato = tomate
carrot = zanahoria
sweet peppers = pimientos dulces
fruits = frutas
avcad = aguacate
nuts = nuez
mushrms = hongos
bread = pan
flour = harina
flat corn bread = tortillas
vegetable oil = aceite vegetal
vegetable shortening = manteca vegetal

Non-Vegan Foods:

animal products = productos que provengan de animals
meat = carne
cow/beef = vaca / carne de vacuno
pork = cerdo
chicken = pollo
lamb = cordero
sausage = salchicha or chrizo
sea food = mariscos
fish = pescado
mussels = mejillón
clam = almeja
shrimp = camarón
ceviche= a seafood dish made in Latin America
dairy = productos lácteos
milk = leche (cow milk = leche de vaca)
cheese = queso
yogurt = yogur
butter = mantequilla
cream = crema or nata
ice cream = helado
eggs = huevos
mayonnaise = mayonesa
lard = manteca (de cerdo)
beef/chicken/fish brth = caldo de carne/pollo/pescado

Local vegan (or easy to make vegan) dishes and foods:

rice and beans = arroz y frijoles (or gallo pinto)
guacamole
refried beans = frijoles refritos
bread / flat corn bread / flat crispy corn bread = pan / tortilla / tostada
fruit smothie = licuado de fruta
burrito sandwich  = sándwich
pasta
rice soup = sopa de arroz

Other useful words and phrases

I’m vegan.  Do you know what ‘vegan’ means?
Y soy vegano.  ¿Sabes que significa “vegano”?   

It’s similar to vegetarian.
Es similar a vegetariano.

A vegetarian doesn’t eat meat.
Un vegetariano no come carne.

A vegan  doesn’t eat meat, but also doesn’t eat other animal products, such as…
Un vegano no come carne y tampco come otros productos que  provengan de animales, como…

Dar jalon or travel by hitchhiking

I have seen some mochileros/backpackers on the road. They were trying to travel by hitchhiking.

It’s a bit unusual here, but not impossible. When we need to hitch we say “¿me da jalon?”, where jalar/halar is a verb which means to pull.

I heard this activity is illegal in some countries but I am not sure…at least here is not  illegal but it could be dangerous.

Troubleshooting problems with Skype

If you are experienced problems with Skype, e.g. poor quality… Maybe is not your internet conection… this is a common problem when we use Skype. Here are some solutions that Skype offers:

Having problems with poor quality, freezing, delay, or dropped calls? You, and the person you’re calling should follow these steps:

  1. Use the latest version of Skype.
    We’re always improving call quality, so for best performance, make sure that you and the person you’re calling are using the latest version of Skype.
  2. Check your connection.
    If your audio or video calls freeze, your video looks block-like or has motion blur, it might be your internet connection (or your friend’s) causing the problem. If Skype detects a weak connection, it will reduce the quality to try and stop the call from dropping altogether.

    • Using a computer? Plug your Ethernet cable directly into your modem or router. If you’re using Wi-Fi, try moving closer to the router.
    • Using a mobile device? Use a speed test app to check the performance of your mobile connection, and check the result against the download and upload speeds required for Skype.
  3. Is another application interfering with your call?
    Close any applications that could be interfering with your call. File sharing applications, streaming audio or video, or even just having a web browser open are all things that can eat up bandwidth.

 

We would recommend some humor and patience…

 

Celebraciones en diciembre

Este es un mes lleno de celebraciones en Guatemala, casi todas ellas de carcater religioso. A continuacion una pequeña descripcion de lo que se viene:

7 de diciembre – Quema del Diablo

Su origen se remonta al siglo XVI, pues en aquel tiempo no existía el alumbrado público, por lo que los asistentes a la procesión de la Virgen Inmaculada Concepción encendían fogatas en las calles para alumbrar su paso. Es una creencia popular que la Quema del Diablo representa una lucha entre el bien y el mal; batalla que gana el bien al quemar la piñata con la figura del diablo todo esto debido a que la fecha coincide con los nueve meses del nacimiento de la Virgen María y la celebración del adviento.

Tambien suele tenerse por cierto que la Quema del Diablo es que simboliza una limpieza profunda en el hogar por lo que se desecha lo malo de la casa realizando fogatas con las cosas inservibles. Debido a la contaminacion en los ultimos años se ha adoptado la costumbre de quemar piñatas que simbolizan al diablo y aun mas recientemente piñatas con personajes de la vida politica.

Jokes in Spanish

I just found a page with these simple but graciosos chistes funny jokes:

1. ¿Cómo llama el vaquero a su hija?
– ¡Hijaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

(How does the cowboy call his daughter? – Eeee – haaa! The joke is based on the similar sound of the word daughter in Spanish, hija, and the stereotypical cowboy shout yee-haa!)

2. En la escuela, la maestra dice:
– A ver Luis, ¿cómo te imaginas la escuela ideal?
– Cerrada, maestra, cerrada.

(In class, the teacher says, “Let’s see Luis, How do you imagine the ideal school?”  “Closed.”)

3. ¿Sabes las dos palabras que te abrirán muchas puertas en el mundo?
-Tire y empuje.

(Do you know the two words that will open many doors for you in this world? Pull and push.)

4. ¿Por qué está triste el cuaderno de matemáticas?
– Porque tiene muchos problemas.

(Why is the math notebook sad? Because it has a lot of problems.)

5. Una madre mosquito le dice a sus hijos mosquititos:
– Hijos, tienen mucho cuidado con los humanos y no se acerquen a ellos ya que siempre quieren matarnos.
Pero uno de los mosquitos le dijo:
– No, Mami, eso no es cierto. El otro día un humano se pasó la tarde aplaudiéndome.

(A mother mosquito says to her baby mosquitos, “Children, be careful with humans and don’t get close to them because they always want to kill us.”
But one of the mosquitos answers, “No Mommy, that isn’t true. The other day a human spent the whole afternoon clapping for me.”)

6. Un soldado le dice a otro:
– Viene gente.
– ¿Son amigos o enemigos?
– Deben ser amigos porque vienen todos juntos.

(One soldier says to the other, “There are people coming.” “Are they friends or enemies?” “They must be friends because they are all coming together.”)

7. ¿Qué le dijo un techo a otro techo?
– Techo de menos.

(What did one roof say to the other roof? I miss you. This joke is based on techo, roof, sounding the same as te echo. Te echo de menos is one way to say I miss you in Spanish.)

8. Si tengo cuatro pesos en el bolsillo y se me caen dos, ¿qué tengo ahora en el bolsillo?
– ¡Un agujero!

(If I have four pesos in my pocket and two fall out, what do I have in my pocket now? A hole!)

9. Un niño se sube a un bus y le dice al chofer:
– ¿Cuánto cuesta el bus?
Y éste le responde:
– Pues, 10 pesos.
Y el niño le dice: ¡Vale, que se bajen todos que lo compro!

(A little boy gets on a bus and says to the driver, “How much is the bus?”
The driver answers,” It’s 10 pesos.” And the boy says, “Okay, everybody off. I’m buying it!”)

10. Había un ciempiés caminando por el bosque, y había una ramita y se tropezó, se tropezó, se tropezó, se tropezó, se tropezó…

(There was a centipede walking through the forest, and here was a stick in his way and he tripped, tripped, tripped, tripped, tripped, tripped…..)

8 de diciembre: historia de Guatemala

1982 Masacre en Las Dos Erres

Es un momento de tantos terribles en la historia de Guatemala y por lo tanto no debe olvidarse.

La Masacre de Las Dos Erres fue realizada por militares y Kaibiles (‘fuerzas de élite’) de las Fuerzas Armadas de Guatemala1 ―durante el gobierno del presidente general Efraín Ríos Montt― en un parcelamiento (aldea) del departamento La Libertad (Petén), el 6, 7 y 8 de diciembre de 1982. La masacre se produjo en el marco de la Guerra civil de Guatemala.

Wikipedia

1985 Segunda Vuelta Elecciones generales

En este día pero en 1985 se realiza la segunda vuelta de Elecciones Presidenciales en Guatemala. Logrando la victoria Marco Vinicio Cerezo Arévalo y Roberto Carpio Nicolle del partido Democracia Cristiana.

La elección se desarrolló en relativa calma y se registró un abstencionismo del 49.7 por ciento, quizá un porcentaje alto el cual atribuyó el TSE a la llamada “campaña negra que opacó en cierto modo la elección” en la cual se produjeron ataques encarnizados entre determinados sectores políticos.

El TSE dio a conocer los resultados finales hasta el 7 de noviembre de 1985, entre acusaciones de fraude, principalmente reclamado por el Movimiento de Liberación Nacional, MLN al quedar en el cuarto lugar de la votación presidencial, éste partido formó un llamado “Frente de Oposición” para evitar que se realizara la elección en segunda vuelta e impugnaron los resultados, sin éxito.  Los primeros 3 lugares los obtuvieron la DCG con 648,681 votos, 38.65%; la UCN con 339,522 votos, 20.23% y el partido PDCN – PR con 231,397 votos, 13.78%.

Ya que no hubo mayoría absoluta se programó la elección de la segunda vuelta para elegir al presidente, entre los partidos DCG y UCN para el 8 de diciembre. En dicha elección los electores eligieron al Binomio de la DCG conformado por Marco Vinicio Cerezo Arévalo y Roberto Carpio Nicolle, primeros gobernantes civiles después de casi 30 años de gobiernos militares.

Prensa Libre

 

Ferias Patronales

8 de diciembre, se celebra la feria de 21 municipios de Guatemala:

  • Concepción Huista, Huehuetenango
  • Villa Nueva, Guatemala
  • Santa Cruz El Chol, Baja Verapaz
  • Camotán, Chiquimula
  • Concepción Las Minas, Chiquimula
  • Concepción, Sololá
  • Canillá, Quiché
  • Chicaman, Quiché
  • Conguaco, Jutiapa
  • Retalhuleu
  • Concepción Tutuapa, San Marcos
  • Pajapita, San Marcos
  • Guazacapan, Santa Rosa
  • Ciudad Vieja, Sacatepéquez
  • Escuintla (Cabecera)
  • Nueva Concepción, Escuintla
  • Zacapa (Cabecera)
  • Concepción Chiquirichapa,Quetzaltenango
  • Genova Costa Cuca, Quetzaltenango
  • Chicacao, Suchitepéquez
  • Samayac, Suchitepéquez
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