QUETZALTENANGO, more commonly known as Xela (shay-la)
is the second most populous city of Guatemala, after Guatemala City. It is both the capital of Quetzaltenango Department and
the municipal seat of Quetzaltenango municipality.
It has an estimated population of 661,325. The population is about 65%
indigenous or Amerindian, 32% Mestizo or ladino, and 3% European. Quetzaltenango is located in a mountain valley at an altitude
of 2,333 meters (7,655 ft) above sea level.
There are two main seasons in Quetzaltenango: the rainy season, which generally
runs from May through mid-November, and the dry season, which runs from December until May. During the rainy season, rain
falls consistently, usually in the afternoons. During the dry season, the city frequently will not receive a single drop of
rain for months on end. From December through February, the days are quite warm.