REVUE Magazine July 2021

Page 1

Guatemala’s English-language Magazine JULY 2021 Year 30 No. 5

in memoriam

CARLOS ARGÜELLO Artist, Entrepreneur and Mentor

THIS MONTH IN REVUE Advertiser INDEX places to go, things to do, and fun to be had

Restaurants - Hotels Shopping - Services Real Estate - Travel

PHOTO CONTEST August, 2021

“Rivers & Lakes of Guatemala” click for details

La Antigua Interactive Map

From the Publishers


Get your car repaired Dine Al Fresco Buy Fresh-baked Bread

Previous Revue articles and Photo Contests

On the Cover

Carlos Argüello: Artist, Entrepreneur and Mentor photo courtesy of fundación ca



Publishers/Editors John & Terry Kovick Biskovich Photography Luis Toribio, César Tián Graphic Designer Hadazul Cruz Contributing Writer Mark D. Walker Webmaster/Social Media JB Systems Luis Juárez, Luis Toribio Publishing Company Producciones Publicitarias Estrella Antigua S. A.


Guatemala’s English-language Ezine

2 PBX 7832-4619 Corporate offices: 3a avenida sur #4-A, La Antigua Guatemala

For Business Listings, Information, Maps and Events Calendar


in memoriam

CARLOS ARGÜELLO Artist, Entrepreneur and Mentor (?? -2021) by Hadazul Criz

... He has worked creating special effects comercials for ABC, NBC, CBS, HBO and TNT, then transitioning into big budget movies like Space Jam, Batman and Robin, Natural Born Killers, Armageddon and The Mummy. But he never forgot that he had to leave his home in order to pursue his dreams, so, in 2001 he returned to Guatemala, and founded Studio C. ...more


Crossing Borders, Building Bridges: A Journalist’s Heart in Guatemala by Mark D. Walker

I first became aware of Maria E. Martin at a Peace Corps Connect Conference in Austin, Texas in 2019. After doing some research, I discovered that Maria was the founder of the Gracias Vida Media Center, based in Antigua, and then I learned about her new book: Crossing Borders, Building Bridges: A Journalist’s Heart in Latin America. ...more


Amalia’s Kitchen

by Chef Amalia Moreno-Damgaard

chirmol without boundaries

with a recipe for “Amalia’s Favorite Chirmol”

When in Guatemala, you are bound to hear the word “chirmol” used in various contexts. Chirmol is also a healthy delicious chunky sauce that usually accompanies a variety of foods. ...more


food and drink


restaurants, bars, cafés and diners

Click on title to go to desired page antigua Doña Luisa Xicotencatl home cooked meals and fresh bread baked daily saberico the best Guatemalan comfort food, gluten free, vegan Choco Museo artisanal chocolates, restaurant, classes Café Condesa farm-to-table since 1993 cafetenango restaurant surrounded by gardens and volcano views cerro san cristobal organic farm, slow food, garden-to-table restaurant DEL ARCO RESTAURANTE excellent food in a beautiful surrounding thai-wow delicious thai food in a beautiful setting

Guatemala city - antigua arrin cuan over three decades offering the best of Guatemalan Cuisine 5

Click on title to go to desired page

Places AND fu

Services antigua ARNOLDS GARAGE engine repair, transmissions, a/c, master mechanic HOSPITAL PRIVADO HERMANO PEDRO 24-hour emergency service comunitel internet service where no one else gives it la fábrica sports & gym rock climbing, cross training, bilingual trainers vet pro veterinary clinic - English, Spanish, French spoken

Shopping antigua random treasures pre-owned clothes, furniture - benefits animal welfare guatemala city HOUSE & GREEN kitchen and restaurant supply jocotenango plaza jocotenango shopping and convenience under one roof


to go, things to do un to be had... Hotels - Lodging antigua Antigua Hotel Solutions several great hotels to choose from

lake atitlan Jardines del lago hotel you deserve to relax at the lake

hawaii / monterrico PLAYA PLANA relax and enjoy at the pacific coast

río dulce hACIENDA TIJAX ecolodge and marina - waterfront cabañas

Travel -Tours antigua filadelfia coffee resort farm and production tours, mountain bikes... antigua - guatemala city - quetzaltenango turansa travel agency tour packages, bus rental, shuttle service 7




Breakfasts, Sandwiches, Burgers, Stuffed Potatoes, Cakes, Pies & Cookies

Desayunos, Sandwiches, Hamburguesas Papas Rellenas, Pasteles, Pays & Galletas





Video “Saberico” La Antigua






From the Publishers NOTE: The Guatemalan government is sending out notices about the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccinations now in progress. Go to for more info.


or July the Photo Contest theme was Portraits of Guatemala and we received many wonderful and thoughtful images which we share throughout this issue. The contest for next month is Rivers & Lakes of Guatemala for all of you photographers.

We pay homage to Carlos Argüellow who passed away last month. Hadazul Cruz, writer and friend of Carlos, tells us about what an interesting and inspiring person he was, as well as an artist, entrepreneur and mentor. He will be missed by many. Mark D. Walker’s article, Crossing Borders, Building Bridges: A Journalist’s Heart in Guatemala, introduces us to author and activist Marie E. Martin. Happy July to all. — Terry & John Kovick Biskovich Portrait photography of the publishers by Lucrecia Rivera and German Velasquez

Using the interactive features As you turn a page you’ll notice some of the text/images are briefly highlighted. All you have to do is click or tap on them to enter the world of interactivity, including virtual reality tours. Double-tap on a page to zoom in. Click on a page to view highlighted content. In the contents and advertiser index pages just click or tap on whatever subject you’re interested in and that’s where you’ll go. Videos will play directly in the page.



1st Place Judges Vote “Church Guitarist” San Andreas Iztapa by Warren Capps




2nd Place Popular Vote “Semillas de Fe / Seed of Faith” Antigua by Sergio Delattre


“Colores del alma” Totonicapán by Wilson Tepéu Escobar 26

1st Place Popular Vote “Sonrisas del Alma” San Martin Jilotepeque, Chimaltenango by Federico Roulet 27

3rd Place Popular Vote “La señora de Tocoyal” Sololá by Jorge Enrique Batz 28

“Rostros con marcas de los años” Sololá by Julio Mucun 29


3rd Place Judges Vote “Aj Chi K´ïm” Parque ecológico Florencia by Carlos Sirin

“Colores de nuestra sangre” Antigua by Angel Melgar

“Chirimía” Quetzaltenango by José Alejandro Palacios Morales



“Bella Inocencia” San Martín Jilotepeque, Chimaltenango by Edgar Canás 34

“Miradas eternas” Purulhá, Baja Verapaz by German Velasquez 35

CARLOS ARGÜELLO Artist, Entrepreneur and Mentor (?? -2021) by Hadazul Cruz


e didn´t like to say how old he was, but certainly he was a young soul, probably because he always cared about the youth of his country and Latin America.


A true artist, he was born in Nicaragua, later the entire family moved to Guatemala where he studied in his early years, however, he decided to emigrate to the United States at a young age. He

photos courtesy of fundación ca

was eager to develop his talents through the access to art education. In 1981 he entered the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California where he chose a career as a graphic designer. Upon graduation in 1986 he became interested in the nascent visual effects industry and the new technologies. His first job was at NASA creating computer generated animations. In the


80s the music video industry was booming and he had the opportunity to work in music videos for artists such as Michael Jackson (Black or White and Remember the Time among others) and Ricky Martin. He also worked creating special effects comercials for ABC, NBC, CBS, HBO and TNT. He was so good at his job that he soon transitioned into the film industry working in big budget movies like Space Jam, Batman and Robin,

Natural Born Killers, Armageddon and The Mummy. But he never forgot that he had to leave his home in order to pursue his dreams, so, in 2001 he returned to Guatemala, and founded Studio C a visual effects company where he started training and employing young and talented Guatemalans. He had a good reputation back in Hollywood and soon Studio C was commissioned to work for important productions such as The Chronicles

Carlos Argüello always a young soul. At the Amazon, during a Netflix production “Frontera Verde”.

Director Andrew Adamson and Carlos Argüello

of Riddick, Fast and Furious 3 (Tokyo Drift), Fever Pitch, The Nativity Story and The Chronicles of Narnia. The visual effects were created by Guatemalan hands and brains.

Carlos Argüello working with young Guatemalans at Studio C around 2005

Click to see video of Carlos Argüello’s talk “El efecto de crear emociones” he gave at a TEDx event

Carlos Argüello and Ludwing Paniagua teaching in Yucatán Mexico, 2015

In 2007 he wanted to go a step further and founded Fundación CA (Central American Foundation). It is a non profit organization created to promote education and culture through art. Today many of the young Guatemalans he trained have become the new teachers and travel to countries like Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica and El Salvador teaching and training Latin American youth. He spent his last days looking for support in order to create more oportunities for Latin America. He never worked for himself, he wasn’t looking for fame, he could have stayed in Hollywood and enjoyed a long and successful career, but he chose otherwise, he chose

to go back to his country, he chose the Latin American youth. His legacy will certainly continue through his family, most especially his mother María Luisa Perezalonzo who still runs the foundation, Fundación CA. I had the opportunity to work for him, only a couple of years, but from him I learned to work with excelency, to push until you do your best. To recognize that only by uniting the talent of the entire team the path to the goal will be shorter and most importantly not to think only about youself. Rest in Peace Carlos Argüello Guatemala June 23, 2021

“Procesionando” Parque central de Xela by Luis Soto 42

“Bordando Güipiles” by Marcelino Maldonado

“Pandemic Hiking” Volcán de Pacaya by Alejandro González 44

2nd Place Judges Vote “Colores de nuestra sangre” Antigua by Angel Melgar 45

“Miradas del alma” by Silvana Arana 46

“The old lady by the church” La Antigua by Sven Delaye 47


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Amalia’s Kitchen text & photos by chef and author Amalia Moreno-Damgaard

chirmol — without boundaries


hen you are in Guatemala, you are bound to hear the word “chirmol” used in various contexts, be it culinary or cultural. A group of friends can be chirmoleando or gossiping about something or someone. Chirmol can also refer to a mess or a mix-up, and a chirmolero(a) can be someone who likes to stir up trouble. And chirmol is also a healthy delicious chunky sauce that usually accompanies a variety of foods. Chirmol is to Guatemalans what chimichurri is to Argentineans, 67


the inseparable pal of grilled meats. The sauce morphs from region to family preferences and can contain few to several ingredients depending on purpose. The technique is simple. Chirmolito is yet another way to call the salsa that denotes familiarity and coziness. Guatemalans do enjoy using ito or ita at the end of words to add a special and precious meaning to things, foods and even people.

last few years, fusion has brought a variety of spicy foreign dishes into the Guatemalan culinary scene, but the traditional fare remains mild. These great sauces and salsas lend themselves to a variety of purposes and uses, from toppings and appetizers, to easy bases to build a gourmet dish.

The choice is yours!

I have two favorite chirmolitos, one that is partly cooked, and another one that is fully cooked. The first one I like to dress up chorizo and the latter one, atop overeasy eggs. In other Latin cultures there are a variety of sauces and salsas that are cousins to the chirmol. Pico de gallo is the Mexican raw equivalent to a chirmol, while a tomatillo salsa can be another one. Chirmol can also be associated with a sofrito, a base for anything from rice dishes and soups to more elaborate meals. Guatemalans love their sauces and salsas on the side, and they are typically mild. Spicy ingredients often accompany a small tray of toppings that a waiter at a restaurant will bring to a table. This way, patrons can dress their dishes according to taste. In the 69


AMALIA’S FAVORITE CHIRMOL by Amalia Moreno-Damgaard

Makes about 2-1/2 cups 5 Roma tomatoes, charred, chopped (skins included) ½ cup mint leaves, chopped ¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped ½ cup onion (red, white or green), chopped 1-2 serrano or jalapeño chile peppers, minced (optional) 1 tbsp fresh lime juice Salt to taste Char the tomatoes on the grill until blackened and mushy. Do not peel. Chop well. Combine with the rest of the ingredients and season.

¡Buen provecho!



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Crossing Borders, Building Bridges: A Journalist’s Heart in Guatemala by Mark D. Walker


first became aware of Maria E. Martin at a Peace Corps Connect Conference in Austin, Texas in 2019. I was there to witness Guatemalan filmmaker Luis Argueta, whom I had helped nominate, receive the Wofford Harris Global Citizenship award. During the conference, Argueta participated in a discussion panel titled “Beyond Borders,” along with Maria Martin, the Director of “The Gracias Vida Center for Media,” and several immigration experts. I noticed that both Maria and Luis mentioned that one of their major goals was to “change the narrative” around Guatemalan migrants and give them a “human” face, so they would be treated with the dignity and respect they deserve. The conversation then turned to an examination of the historic exodus from Central America and the humanitarian crisis at the U.S. southern border. Some of the panelists underscored the need for policy solu82

tions as well as opportunities for the Peace Corps community to act.

Peace Corps Connect Conference in Austin, Texas in 2019

Two years went by before I heard Maria again, this time on a program about emigration from Guatemala that aired on the public radio program “Reveal.” The program focused on Todos Santos, Huehuetenango, and dealt with the challeng-

es that forced local villagers to flee their home and go north to the U.S. in order to make a living. After doing some research, I discovered that Maria was the founder of the Gracias Vida Media Center, based in Antigua, and then I learned about her new book: Crossing Borders, Building Bridges: A Journalist’s Heart in Latin America.

journalist working across cultures, languages, and borders. In the book she shares a series of fascinating stories and photographs to describe her life’s journey. Maria was introduced to bilingual radio in northern California in the mid-70s and went on to volunteer for the “Somos Chicanas” program where she was given the opportunity to interview Cesar Chavez, the iconic leader of the farm worker movement. Eventually, Maria went on to become the Senior Producer of “Latino USA,” where she reported on immigration from a policy, as well as a human-interest-story, perspective. One of her assignments with Latino USA included an investigation into the disappearance of Sister Dianna Ortiz, who was abducted and tortured in Guatemala in 1989. This led to the investigative report, “The Betrayal of Sister Dianna Ortiz and Surviving Torture: The Search for Healing.”

Book cover

This book is an inspiring account of the author’s decades of work as a Latina radio

For decades, the Guatemalan government had been known for its abuses of human rights. 83

For decades, the Guatemalan government had been known for its abuses of human rights, but this story had an added layer because of the nun’s assertion that an American, “Alejandro,” was present in the torture chamber. The author’s ongoing research discredited the official explanation that the nun was a victim of mistaken identity (with a guerrilla leader), which was not at all plausible since, according to the author, Sister Dianna lacked the Spanish fluency of a native speaker. The report’s broadcast date was scheduled for the tenth anniversary of Ortiz’s abduction and would be the author’s most ambitious documentary to date. She considered it a labor of love. In the end, Maria gained Sister Dianna’s trust and was grateful to Sister Dianna for having allowed her to share her story. Sister Dianna went on to become an outspoken human rights activist and advocate for victims of torture, and for her work Martin received the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. Maria Martin would go on to train rural and provincial journalists throughout Latin America, but especially in Guatemala. She counteracted the tendency for big-city journalists to look down on local reporters when they came to the provinces. Eventually, she would establish the “Gracias Vida Media Center” in Antigua. 84

Her commitment and vision for the future is reflected in her presentation in 2015 at the University of Texas event commemorating four decades of work in public radio: “Lives and careers come in cycles … Maybe now it’s your turn to give back to that mentor—that person who gave you support…” Her admonishment was to “pay it forward, pay it back.” Mandalit del Barco, Arts and Culture Correspondent for National Public Radio said it best, “The wonderful Maria Martin has been an inspiration for generations to follow her lead. There are so many of us working in public radio today who can testify how influential she’s been.”

Guate Doc media center.

After witnessing her contributions to the panel at the Peace Corps Connect Conference and then reading her book, it be-

came clear that Maria would be a natural addition to the documentary on emigration we began working on two years ago, Guatemala: Trouble in the Highlands, after an article I wrote with the same title was highlighted in the July 2019 issue of Revue Magazine. In the article, I reported that climate change, unemployment, and relentless grinding poverty were the underpinnings of the current migration crisis. There was also the historic reality of land and economic inequality and the nationwide infestation of the narcotics trade, which has led to near total government dysfunction. This narrative would morph into the production of a documentary film, which was highlighted in the February 2020 issue of Revue Magazine. At that time, we reported that our focus would be what has happened in the past, what is currently occurring to fuel the U.S. border crisis, and lastly, what can be done to change the course of a cruel history. Our production team (which includes Hal Rifken, award winning cinematographer) had planned to have the project done by the end of 2020, but then all international travel was cancelled due to the COVID pandemic. On the positive side, this delay offered us an opportunity to further research our story, including learning how other documentaries had dealt with the issues of interest to us.

I was already familiar with the amazing work of Guatemalan award-winning filmmaker, Luis Argueta, whose 1994 film, “El Silencio de Neto,” was the first submission from Guatemala accepted into the foreign film category at the Motion Picture Academy Awards. His other films include “Abrazos;” “The U Turn;” and “Abused: The Postville Raid.” Then, we were introduced to the work of Pamela Yates and the Skylight group, who focus on amplifying the voice of constituencies battling for social justice. Their most impressive documentary is “500 Years: Life in Resistance,” filmed in 2017. This documentary follows the trial of former Guatemalan President Efrain Rios Montt for genocide against the country’s indigenous Maya population in the 1980s and the popular uprising that ensued after the trial, ultimately leading to the toppling of then President Otto Perez Molina. It is the third film in a trilogy which includes, “When the Mountains Tremble,” and “Granito: How to Nail a Dictator.” Skylight is presently working on a new feature-length documentary, “Borderland.” Having reviewed all of these impressive productions, we realized that they had already told the story of the Guatemalan Civil War, and the U.S. involvement and eventual intervention. Additionally, many 85

compelling stories had already been told by Guatemalan families who had been forced to flee their homes and head north, so what could we focus on which others hadn’t? Fortunately, Maria Martin reminded us of the paltry number of Maya representatives in the Guatemalan Congress (10% of the approximately 160); and that the number of Mayan leaders killed or disappeared was growing by the day. She then suggested we tell our story from the Mayan leadership perspective and focus on the growth of the Mayan political movement, which resonated with the entire documentary team. With that, we recruited Maria to be our Executive Producer. After all, we concluded, she had already researched the issues we were focusing on and had a wealth of experience training Mayan radio journalists who could help us develop this new story line on the root causes of why 50% of the country’s population has yet to be represented properly in the governmental structure of Guatemala. This revised version of Trouble in the Highlands explores the tumultuous history of Guatemala’s indigenous communities and why the Maya remain desperately


poor, exploited, and outside the corridors of political power; how the lack of indigenous representation in government affects all aspects of life: the quality of schools, the availability of health care in rural areas, and respect for indigenous culture and traditions. Through the eyes of Mayan academics, activists, and political leaders, the documentary explores reasons why so many are leaving and what is being done to reverse the economic and social stagnation that causes it. We have also introduced a new segment showing how Bolivia’s indigenous leaders achieved political success over a twenty-year period. There is no questioning the success of Evo Morales’ political party, MAS, which elected the first indigenous president in Bolivian history, as well as scores of indigenous representatives. But Bolivia also offers a

cautionary tale for Guatemala’s political activists. Morales suffered many political setbacks during his years in power, but in spite of his many failures, the standard of living for a great many of Bolivia’s indigenous communities rose dramatically. Working with us to develop Trouble in the Highlands will fulfill the goal Ma-

ria Martin stated at the end of her book, Crossing Borders, Building Bridges, “I will continue to make my contributions through public and independent media in the U.S. and Latin America. I will tell stories—in English and Spanish—that touch people’s minds and hearts, writing narratives that strive to improve cultural understanding among people.”

About the author

Mark D. Walker ( Mark Walker was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala,1971-1973, working on fertilizer experiments with small farmers in the Highlands. Over the next 40 years, he managed, or raised, funds for many international groups, including Food for the Hungry and Make A Wish International and wrote about those experiences in Different Latitudes: My Life in the Peace Corps and Beyond. He is also a contributing writer for Revue Magazine: Tschiffleys Epic Equestrian Ride; The Future of the Peace Corps in Guatemala; Maya Gods & Monsters; The Making of the Kingdom of Mescal; Luis Argueta – Telling the stories of Guatemalan Immigrants; Luis Argueta: Guatemalan Filmmaker Recipient of a Global Citizen Award; and Traveling in Tandem with a Chapina. His wife and three children were born in Guatemala. Go to or write the author at 87

“Posteridad” Palín Escuintla by Marco Tulio J. Lobo 88

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Photos in this ad are from previous contests by: Oscar Díaz, Víctor Hugo Xalcut, Guillermo Alejandro C.A., Kevin Ibarra Fotografía and Gabriela Wright.


Te invitamos a participar en nuestro Concurso Fotográfico de Agosto 2021 con el tema: RÍOS Y LAGOS DE GUATEMALA Enviar (1) foto en ALTA RESOLUCIÓN con el título, lugar donde fue tomada, su nombre y el sitio web para el crédito a: Para más información: Serán elegibles las fotos recibidas hasta el 15 de Julio de 2021. ¡Los premios están de vuelta en ambas categorías! Q100 Primer lugar voto popular Q100 Segundo lugar voto popular Q100 Primer lugar voto del jurado Q100 Segundo lugar voto del jurado

We invite you to participate in our MONTHLY PHOTO CONTEST for August 2021 with the theme: RIVERS AND LAKES OF GUATEMALA Please send ONE (1) HIGH RES photo with caption/location and your name & website for the credit line to: More information at: Submissions entered by the 15th of July will be eligible. ¡Prizes are Back on both categories! Q100 1st Place Popular Vote Q100 2nd Place Popular Vote Q100 1st Place Judges Vote Q100 2nd Place Judges Vote 101


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