My apologies to anyone who may have been checking this site hoping for an update, I have a feeling posts will be shorter, but more frequent in the future.
Xela is a very interesting place to live, at least for me. This marks the first time I have lived in a fairly metropolitan area. My friends here from New York and Chicago assure me that Xela is downright providential, however skewed my view of tight living quarters may be. When compared to my year at camp, people seem VERY close.
All in all, it isn’t bad though. People are polite, and mostly thoughtful, except when behind the wheel of a car, but that goes for anywhere in the world. There is a staggering amount of cafes around, each with its own idiom or gag. The Parque Central is an interesting hybrid of a park and a central promenade, complete with Athenian columns. The streets in Zona 1, the central part of town, are cobbled or brick, while further north in Zona 3 and much of the rest of Xela, modern streets prevail.
What I have yet to find is a truly quiet place. This may be a lot to ask for in a rather compact town of 150,000 souls, but part of me, even a month in is hoping to find such a place. The cafes usual have music and are open to the street, letting the cacophony of traffic, including the ever present and ubiquitous car horn, blast in through the curtains that earlier promised a tranquil cup of tea. I still hold hope for the public library, although it is located on the Parque Central, the third busiest part of town after the Minerva bus terminal and La Democracia Mercado. However, my hopes for quiet may be quite unrealistic after having a good 9 months of solitude at Lutherhill.
The churches of Xela also offer a sonic oasis, but something tells me the denizens of such a place would not take kindly to a gringo taking solace in a book in their nave. All the churches I have had the pleasure to visit so far have been quite beautiful and interesting so far. Many of the more visible examples are in the style of European cathedrals, but the majority are by far small, and converted out of old stores or homes. The cathedrals possess the familiar high and vaulted ceilings, grand columns, and shrines to various figures. One example, La Iglesia San Nicolas, even features high Gothic-arched windows. I haven´t chanced to glance inside one of the smaller churches to date, but curiosity will win out in the end.
Again, thanks for reading, and hopefully once I figure out how to post galleries, you can see some of the churches and the hike up Tajulmulco, the highest point in Central America!