Sunday, December 25, 2005


It's starting to look like Christmas around here! Well, maybe not exactly the way that we're used to Christmas looking...

This huge artificial Christmas "tree", about a 10-minute walk from our house, is the largest public christmas tree in Xela. For some reason, besides being made from some gaudy plastic material, it is adorned with neon Gallo beer signs, both on top and all over the sides. At night it looks more like a bar district! (Gallo, which is pronounced "GAH-yo" and means "rooster", is Guatemala's most popular lager.) And you thought rampant commercialism was out of hand in the USA? Well then, check this one out...

...the Pepsi tree! (Also not a real tree, this one consists of fir branches draped over chicken wire) This one is the 2nd largest public tree in Xela, and it's located just outside La Pradera, which is Xela's version of a shopping mall.

Yet another of the ubiquitous "Gallo Trees". This one is in Flores, in the department of Peten. As it turns out, we spent our Christmas in Peten, camping at the beautiful Finca Ixobel.