Quetzaltenango, or its Mayan name Xela, is Guatemala’s second city. Although at just over 300,000 inhabitants, it is considerably smaller than Guate. It is located high in the western highlands and gets very cold at night.
For the most part, there is little to see in the city itself which is mostly dirty, noisy and full of diesel fumes. However, the central plaza, officially known as Parque Centro America is worthy of a visit.
After a devastating earthquake in 1902, the city fathers rebuilt this plaza in a neoclassical motif. Overshadowing all are two series of freestanding columns.
Yesterday, I took the 2.5 hour chicken bus ride to Xela, cost Q30 or $3.75. In the following presentation you will see the bus terminal where I arrived followed by scenes from the central plaza including an indoor arcade which was unsuccessfully intended to become an upscale mall. Also included are a couple shots of Salon Tecun which claims to be the oldest bar in Guatemala dating to 1935. Inside you will see a small shrine to Maximon.