Big Hair & Tortillas

I couldn’t help but laugh.  As I stepped over an old corn-cob on the dirt footpath, the caw of a rooster was drowned out by the “Rocky” theme song.  This is why I love Guatemala.

Strolling into Xexocom at dusk, the mayor sees us pass his house.  Before I can set down my pack, he’s at the door and handing me the keys to the school.  I follow behind as he leads me to meet the family who will be our host for dinner and temascal.   His Spanish is questionable at best but we manage a bit of small talk.  He gets a kick as I proudly butcher the few words I know in his native Quiché.  “Utz tuh,” I tell the family as I scope out their adobe steam sauna.  After a nice bath, it´s time to round up the group and head back for dinner.

It´s a misty night in the cloud forest but I can see florescent light glowing from the house.  “Damn,” I mumble to myself, “electricity.”  Among the twenty-one families who call Xexocom home, candlelight dinners are the norm and more than one light is unheard of.  At least that’s what I thought until María welcomed us with the Rocky theme blasting at full volume.  Yet, upon entering it still seemed like a normal house among the highland Maya – one open room with four beds and a table.  The décor ranged from a fighting elk tapestry to a diagram of the nervous system to Evangelical calendars.

It was Guatemala at its finest (or just at its self?).  The beans were salty, the peppers made you sweat, the 80’s mix tape was blaring, and the endless supply of thick tortillas were still warm and wrapped in a hand-woven cloth.


3 responses to this post.

  1. Great post! You’ve got to love that, 80s mixes and roosters!


  2. Posted by yahr on 15 June, 2010 at 8:57 am

    hey dude i love your blog

    this had to be the big green house on the far side of town??? i think i ate there my first time in Xexecom, finding out that most of the family had spent time working at a meatpacking plant in Ohio!


  3. Posted by snordq on 15 June, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    And the other half of the altiplano worked as butchers in Kentucky…they loved Antonio


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