After the historical, cultural, and physical experience that was our visit to Tikal, and the educational heights we are reaching in our language classes, you might imagine we were looking for a bit more of a, how do you say, romantic experience, to “even out” our time here in Flores. Enter internationally known Latin American futbol stars.
Yes, please.

posting up at the resort

We’ve been spending our time at a “beach” here known as the Playa de Los Gringos, where its supposed to be slightly more acceptable to be a white person on the beach, specifically, a white girl in a bikini, as the women here swim fully clothed. A lot of things happen in that lake that are a little unnerving; like people bringing soap and shampoo in with them to shower, or laundry detergent to wash their clothes, or dishes to wash, right next to you as you’re tanning. Needless to say, the three of us (dubbed by the teachers at our school “the Charlie’s Angels”….interesting) stand out juuuuust a little bit, and the attention and catcalls at Gringo Playa can be uncomfortable. So a few days ago we decided to try to find something more acceptable. We stumbled upon an upscale hotel with its gates wide open; lawns of freshly cut grass, lounge chairs, hammocks, and bungalows covered in palm fronds. It was juuuust a little bit more our taste.

We spent the afternoon napping in the hammocks, swimming out to the floating dock, and sipping on Gallos while making friends with our server Josefina. As we were about to leave, we noticed three rather tall, dark, and handsome men walking our way, one of them wearing, I am not kidding, a tie-dyed man speedo, and shaking the water out of his long locks of hair.

And suddenly the day got much more interesting.

We exchanged our holas with the boys, and then went home, wondering who they might be. We returned to the beach the next day, and after a friendly exchange, we learned that they were living in the hotel for the next year or so, playing for the area’s soccer team, and were literally worldwide famous soccer players. One from Guatemala, one from Uruguay, and speedo boy was from Brazil. They were playing a game at the stadium nearby tomorrow, and would we like to go? Um, is the Pope Catholic?

futbol stadium!

The stadium was gorgeous, overlooking the lake. The four of us, of maybe fifty girls total in the entire stadium, and definitely the only four gringas, caused such a stir that the boys in the stands started cheering “hey hey hey hey!” when we walked into the stadium, and the players later said that’s how they knew we had arrived. It was so Guatemalan; everyone went outside at halftime to buy Coca colas and Gallos and taquitos that men were grilling out of the trunks of their cars. 

The game was pretty exciting, as Speedo scored a goal and the team won, and later we met up with them at the hotel to share a few celebratory Gallos. One has played soccer in Dubai, they’re super famous in the futbol world, and are hoping to play in the Olympics one day.

Although I’m never the one that attracts anyone’s attention to our happy threesome, playing the token chubby but funny onein the group, I still have a great time because I end up with a fair share of the attention as translator. I fell in love with Julian, the Brasileno, who has only learned Spanish in the last month, shakes his long locks out like a Vidal Sassoon commercial. Also, he doesn’t drink because of a promise he made to his father on his deathbed, which I found extremely attractive, as I also found his eyes, his hair, his accent, his generalness. Sigh.

Gallos at the game!

We ended up going out to Flores that night with the boys, riding on a lancha across the lake, guided only by a flashlight and a waning moon, wondering to ourselves more than once “is this really a good idea?” as the boat kept filling with a few more inches of water. The driver assured us that it was made of cedar and wouldn’t sink, as he scooped buckets of water out. We went to a restaurant and danced at a club for a few hours, and had a pretty awesome time getting lost in the translation and discovering that flirting knows no language barrier. 

On the way back home, we all somehow ended up in the water, laughing and trying to drag the boat back to shore, splashing each other in the total darkness in a random lake in Guatemala. It felt like a scene out of some summer camp movie, where you kinda hope the cute boy will walk you back to your cabin and give you a shy kiss on the cheek.

Of course, what actually happened was that while trying to heave myself back into the boat after our midnight swim, one of the guys pushed me up from behind, I panicked as my belly button ring caught in the wood, and ended up star-fishing into the middle of the lancha, much to everyones delight. Then we ran the boat into the shore a little too hard, got knocked off balance, and ended up crawling up the non existent dirt path peeing our pants in laughter.

I woke up covered in bruises and scratches, hair still wet, and still smiling.