The Deep Gurgle of the Red Iguana

The Red Iguana

Posted in Deep Gurgle by quintamacondalive on October 12, 2008

The Red Iguana visits Venice beach!

About the Deep Gurgle

Posted in Deep Gurgle by quintamacondalive on August 23, 2007

 

In some parts of the world, a Deep Gurgle comes around when words become utterly useless to counter situations that provoke either a sense of deep frustration or elation.

Visitors: When posting your comments you can rate your Gurgle * to *****  as per your frustration or elation intensity.

Gurgle On! – The Red Iguana

The Disneyland’isation of la Antigua, Guatemala

Posted in Deep Gurgle, Oh No!, S.O.S. Antigua, The Beast by quintamacondalive on April 2, 2009

La Antigua’s 16th century San José cathedral on the city’s central plaza is being repainted anew, erasing with every brush stroke the flavor of its patina and character. La Antigua was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979 and is presently Guatemala’s premier tourism cultural destination. This paint job is a degradation of this historical monument to mediocre status. Such arbitrary decision is unacceptable and those responsible should be sanctioned by UNESCO for not applying the strict conservation procedures this building and la Antigua calls for. This is detrimental to the historical flavor of this World Heritage City and forfeits the integrity of its authenticity for present and future generations.

 

To: ICOMOS / ICCROM (UNESCO)

 

To whom this may concern, 

Greetings,


   I would like to bring to your attention the fact that La Antigua’s (Guatemala) 16th century San José cathedral on the city’s central plaza is being repainted anew, erasing with every brush stroke the flavor of its patina and character. La Antigua was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979 and is presently Guatemala’s premier tourism and cultural destination. This paint job is a degradation of this historical  monument and reduces it to mediocre theme park status. Such initiative is detrimental to the historical flavor of this World Heritage City and forfeits the integrity of its authenticity for present and future generations. 

  Such arbitrary decision by the city’s architectural council (CNPAG) and governing bodies is unacceptable; those responsible should be formaly scolded by UNESCO for not applying the strict conservation procedures this building and the city of la Antigua calls for. 

 

      To add to the above,  la Antigua is suffering the ills of the local authority’s ineptitude and double standards. The poor maintenance of such valuable cultural asset for Guatemalans and humanity at large is disgraceful and simply unacceptable. How is all this possible when la Antigua is registered as a WHC and should be protected under the UNESCO conservation charter?

Thank you for your comments and attention in this matter.

Regards,

The Red Iguana

PLEASE TAKE A LOOK! 

Stop the Disneyland\’isation of Antigua,Guatemala

 

Magical Surrealism is Guatemala!

Posted in Uncategorized by quintamacondalive on October 18, 2008
There is no place as beautiful and ugly and dramatic and as full of life and death as Guatemala. It is art!
Guatemala, is a mystical lady, but somewhat of ill repute. One who wields her charms and seduces to no end. She is tantalizing, haughty, daunting, vibrant, and treacherous. Those  who dare get involved and immerse deep into this land, ultimately pay a price. Some will just evaporate, be disappeared, or simply leave, but few will come out unscathed. 

This, is no alluring description, as those found in luxury travel magazines. Then again, we are not dealing with an ordinary destination. For those who crave the edge, Guatemala is as sharp as it gets. A land where extremes rub elbows; beauty and beast. Both dance a whirlwind while trying not to step on each others toes. Ultimately they do. Then, momentarily, the music stops in deathly silence. And, as if nothing, it resumes, as bewitching as ever. Life goes on. This is Guatemala’s reality, harsh, raw, vibrant, bewildering and unforgiving, amid a land of majestic volcanos and jungle mists, one where the highland Maya,ancestral traditions and unfathomable beauty lie.

For those who live this country, it is essential to deconstruct, shelf the genteel upbringings and worldly manners and grow tougher skin. Part of ones check list before entering the stage of this real theater, one filled with Botero-esque actors playing a script that lies somewhere between Garcia Marquez and Mario Puzzo. Where games of masks, smoke and mirrors prevail and one can be struck by the disappearance of a friend and moments later by the praising of henchman – or even, by the kidnapping of a brides roses! Yet, in some strange way,one remains awed by the beauty of it all.

This is a land where adventure echoes and curiosity is its fuel. There is no roar of the lion, but the tremors of earth itself, and the rumbles of volcanos spewing flows of glowing lava. Dawn mists ripping from the canopy of primal forests, dugout canoes gliding silently on the mirrored waters of jungle streams and pagan effigies serving as the protectors of the dispossessed – extraordinary landscapes, ancestral cultures and eternal contradictions. Magical surrealism, is Guatemala!

Tikal: Threats of theme park architecture

Posted in Oh No! by quintamacondalive on August 29, 2007

Do we need theme park architecture in Tikal National Park (UNESCO) World Heritage Site)

Does Tikal really need this? tikal.html

– If and when the following project comes to term, it looks as if Guatemala will consolidate its title as a promoter of tacky theme park developments, rather than that of tasteful quality hospitality solutions it so badly needs in the periphery of its key cultural destinations. Such project as that presented, gives the shivers and brings Guatemala one step closer to eroding this UNESCO World Heritage site’s potential as an authentic world class cultural Eco-cultural destination for present and future generations.

– If and when this project comes to pass, it will surely serve as a model that most local developers will  attempt to imitate. One can only imagine what this means for the region. As a result, all those who value and are in search of quality cultural experiences and mystique when they travel, can bid Tikal farewell – This is very unfortunate, but sadly predictable.

– It is urgent that such project be deterred and that the Guatemalan government be offered serious advice re. the solutions that would best serve such valuable destination. That may be wishful thinking.

– The Tikal project: tikal.html

– Courtesy of developers: boutique.html – check it out!

If you care for TIKAL and disagree with this type of development for the TIKAL area, please say so to  tourism@investinguatemala.org

” The preservation of the world’s cultural heritage and its environment is humanity’s responsibility. ”

 Gurgle ****

Urban Planning for Antigua is a MUST!

Posted in S.O.S. Antigua by quintamacondalive on August 28, 2007

With Antigua classified as a UNESCO world patrimony and its status as Guatemala’s most prestigious cultural and tourism portal, one might think its welfare would be treated as a priority in the national interest – By the show of indifference towards its maintenance, notably the lack of urban planning courtesy of the last (3) municipal administrations, it is clear that it is not. For a country that promotes tourism as one of its main priorities, spends a mint on maintaining appearances, it is unconceivable that the goose with the golden eggs be left to loose its luster without too much concern. Ironically aid of all sorts flows into Guatemala to try and patch things up here and there, but not much attention is paid to help nurture the cultural and urban sustainability of this world cultural heritage, and that should be serving as a role model to inspire present and future generations. Antigua needs a dedicated and competent administration that understands the 21st century challenges the town faces to become competitive in the region as a world class tourist destination.  Antigua needs quality solutions that are world class, not just the usual patch ups to save the day. Positive changes could come about fairly rapidly if and when a non partisan pro Antigua initiative could be jump started

Antigua: Unwarranted show of force.

Posted in The Beast by quintamacondalive on August 26, 2007

Yesterday evening, while enjoying a pleasant dinner with friends and relishing a nice bottle of Merlot, we were suddenly startled by an anguished group of foreigners that crashed into our restaurant. “Don’t go out now!” they blurte out, “The police! The police is everywhere!” Curious as to what had freaked these folks out, I got up and headed for the door just as it was being bolted by the establishments security detail. I walked out onto the pavement and saw twelve black patrol trucks with twirling lights and crackling radios, parked alongside both sidewalks. An immigration vehicle was also part of the fray. The street was lined with police clad in black SWAT outfits with automatic weapons in hand. This had the looks of was a major drug bust. The usual intimidation tactics and muscle flexing that mostly yield nothing, save the anguish of visitors who scurry off and call it a day . One of the group who was visibly distraught, exclaimed to his girlfriend, ” Can you believe this s**t ! Everyone told us this sort of stuff would happen here.” The show of force, was an unwarranted and overblown caricature of a b movie rather than efficient strategy. Within minutes the bars and restaurants had emptied and the pleasant evening visitors had hoped for in the lovely barroque setting of la Antigua had abruptly come to an end. For most, It was the proof that this kind of action really happens in this part of the world. 

With an already slowing tourist trade, who needs this kind of Rambo action?It only serves to  bring tourism to a grinding stop. Fijese!

*****Gurgle

Se cayo la casa.Fijese!

Posted in Deep Gurgle by quintamacondalive on August 23, 2007

In Chapinlandia (Guatemala), one quickly comes to understand that when addressed with a Fijese! The expletive will rarely be followed by pleasant news. Quite the contrary, it is mostly the prelude to something unpleasant. For added effect, the bearer might even accentuate the delivery with a certain degree of glee. This comes easy, as Fijese! Involves no responsibility or accountability, it only serves to underscores the news or information that is delivered. What makes Fijese! quite fascinating is the automatic  association of bad news to this expletive  – Of course, it is expected to stimulate some kind of reaction – on the contrary, it will surely trigger another round: Fijese! (change of tone) – For those who are used to having clear and uncomplicated communication, this particular Gurgle might  provoke some distress.

Gurgle ****