World Cup, Guatemala & the Bird

I’ve always liked soccer players and soccer coaches, but I’ve had a hard time getting into the actual game of soccer.  I never played the game and I’ve never really understood the rules, BUT, every four years I get drawn into the FIFA World Cup.  It’s so stinkin’ fun!  The international mix of folks is beautiful to the ears and eyes!  I have it on right this second, as a matter of fact…


My husband Dane wasn’t a soccer player growing up (!) and is growing into a deeper appreciation of the sport... He has, however, always bought a soccer jersey in each region in Mexico and Central America where we have traveled because it is the sport that is most important to our hosts.  It seems right and good to then celebrate soccer as a part of their culture.  


In Guatemala Dane scoped out the national team’s jersey for a few days until he settled on the tienda from which he would buy his most recent gem.  Of his small collections of shirts, this is my favorite.


The reason I like the jersey so much, besides the fact that it matches Dane’s brilliant blue eyes, is that the Guatemalan team’s logo is their national BIRD.  They love their national bird in Guatemala!  They celebrate it on earrings, bracelets, table runners, their national coat of arms which is on their flag and their favorite sport’s jersey!

The bird is called the “Resplendent Quetzal” or just the Quetzal.  It is gorgeous and distinctive, for sure, and has always been revered and valued by the Mayans.  It’s extremely long tail feathers are especially precious.  Logically, the Guatemalan currency is known as the quetzal.  Isn’t that perfect?!


The Guatemalan team didn’t make it into the World Cup this year.  I’ll have to just appreciate my husband’s jersey as it is worn around Lindsborg because I won’t be watching them on ESPN any time soon.  No matter!  I nominate their team to claim the trophy for the coolest-jerseys-under-the-sun.  Perhaps we could name the award the Quetzal!  

These earrings feature Jade stones, but my iPhone didn't quite do them justice.  :)

These earrings feature Jade stones, but my iPhone didn't quite do them justice.  :)

This bracelet is made out of a coconut shell!  I can't wait to see the youtube of Rafael using a tiny saw to make the image of the bird...

This bracelet is made out of a coconut shell!  I can't wait to see the youtube of Rafael using a tiny saw to make the image of the bird...

This is a table runner that was woven on a back strap loom and then embroidered.  It is exquisite.  I would have taken an average artisan 20ish days to make, but the woman who made this one is quite experienced and it took her 9ish days to create.  Beautiful!

This is a table runner that was woven on a back strap loom and then embroidered.  It is exquisite.  I would have taken an average artisan 20ish days to make, but the woman who made this one is quite experienced and it took her 9ish days to create.  Beautiful!