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Spotlight Guatemala

As the U.S. and Guatemalan mens soccer teams prepare for tonight's match in Guatemala City, it appears that the Guatemalan blogging community is beginning to reach out more to English-language readers. On a post about the promotion of Guatemala's world heritage sites, Guate360 writes, “it is not uncommon for us at Guate360 to post bilingual entries. When we do; it is done with the awareness that we have a global audience.” Chapinadas is another Guatemalan blog with posts in both English and Spanish. Today's post covers both the good and bad of the upcoming fall series of Survivor: The Maya Empire, which starts September 15th and anticipates 20 million viewers in the US:

In Guatemala there are a lot of mixed opinions about this topic. On the one hand, you have people glad that this is happening to Guatemala in the hope that our beautiful country gets to the place it deserves with regards to tourism.

On the other hand, there are a lot of people unhappy with the fact that this series is taken place in a Maya city that has not been excavated and investigated properly. There could be a lot of damage to its temples, murals, stelaes, and other things around it. There is also the fact, that in order for this series to be filmed there is a need for a lot of people to be there. Also, another factor is that a lot of trees have been cut to make the sets, and to make room for the filming.

The weblog Survivor.com, however, seems to be less concerned with the show's impact on Guatemalans compared to highlighting the “blistering heat … torrential rain and … all kinds of biting, stinging creatures.”

Rob Mercatante is back in Guatemala City, but explains, “one of the final reasons that I haven't been filling this journal full of Guatemala news is that I, like the rest of the world, have been watching in horror as the devastating events have unfolded in New Orleans.”

Oscar from DesdeGuate.com says that just 15 days after the Guatemalan wireless provider, Comcel announced EDGE based wireless service, competitor Telefonica announced their own new 1x-EVDO based service which allows roaming internet access in all major parts of Guatemala City for $50 a month plus tax.

Christian Van Der Henst notes that Project EnRed, which encourages students throughout Guatemala to start blogs and use the internet, will be in the city of Quetzaltenango this week and then Antigua next Monday. Christian was also invited by elsalvador.com to discuss strategies for their new program, Operación Red, which encourages more digital participation in El Salvador.

If your Guatemalan curiosity is somehow not satisfied, Guate360 has a great collection of last week's posts from around the blogging community.

5 comments

  • David –
    I’m the owner of http://www.survivor.com. My main concern is giving my readers what they want and they want information about the TV show.

    I previously blogged about the concerns of the people there regarding the filming of a TV show. http://www.survivor.com/?p=48 I, personally, find it alarming that a country would allow someone to film in a sensitive place to promote tourism, but I’m not the country of Gautamala. I’m just some guy, trying to make a few bucks by publishing stories that other people write about a contrived TV show. Thanks for the link, but please don’t blame me for what other people write or want to read.

    I will be happy to link to any other related link. If you have someone in Guatamala that is angry at Mark Burnett, give me the link and I’ll publish it. Bring it on. Let’s hear all sides. I have a forum that anyone can post to. Talk to me!

  • Hi Conrad,

    Thanks for your comment. I didn’t mean to be critical of your blog. I think you’re right – your website gives your readers probably exactly the kind of information they are looking for, which sadly (in my opinion) probably doesn’t include the show’s impact – positive and negative – on Guatemala. I do think it’s great, however, that you wrote about the negotiations between Survivor and the Guatemalan Institute of Tourism (Inguat). I had somehow missed that one.

    If Guatemalan bloggers continue to write their reactions about the show, I’ll keep you informed. Thanks again.

  • Congratulations to the COSTA RICAN National Soccer Team for their victories over Panama and Trinidad and Tobago. Ticos are just one point from qualifying for the Germany 2006 World Cup. Let us all back up Costa Ricans in their performances against the US and Guatemala. Costa Rica is on the way to its third participation in a World Cup.

    http://www.laselecostarica.blogspot.com

  • David,

    Thank you for drawing attention to Latin American blogs, here and in the one about the Brazilian Flikr sight. I’ve been looking for blogs in that part of the world, and now, my plate is full for the next few days!

    You mention Quetzaltenango and reading it took me back a few years when I worked on a power plant financing project (sitting in DC, though):(.

    It’ll be great to follow up on the progress of Project EnRed.

    Sujatha.

  • Thanks for the feedback Sujatha. I’ll definitely be following up on Project EnRed.

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