Recently in Belize It Or Guat Category


The primary beer of Guatemala, Gallo beer labels peel off incredibly easily, as if they're affixed to the bottle with nothing more than the sweat from a worker's brow. What this means is that a Gallo beer is the Hindu untouchable of the beer world. Its existence is currently pretty bad, but there's a good chance it's going to come back around again - maybe this time as a Brazha.

It can't be a coincidence that Gallo is both crappy Guatemalan beer and crappy Californian wine. I've also bought both, when using cheapness as determinant.


The primary beer of Belize, this tastes significantly better than Gallo - but it's still not great. You can get regular Belikin, Belikin Stout, and though I never personally saw it, there's also a Belikin Supreme. If you initially mishear the name, and you are a nerd like me, there's a moment where you have some Rime of the Ancient Mariner flashbacks. "Pelican beer? Well, I guess the Wedding Guest drank the blood of an albatross...and I AM pretty thirsty..."

Drinks of Caye Caulker

See exhaustive analysis at Sean Keane Comedy.

Rum Punch

A dangerous, dangerous drink, especially when you've been snorkeling for hours, and your only nourishment prior to drinking was a small fish sandwich and some saltines, and a snorkeling guide named Rasta Man is urging you to drink more, and refilling the pitcher every fifteen minutes. Beware.


There is a tradition in the Keane family where anyone who visits Molly and Roberto in Guatemala must also drink buckets of beer (AKA, cubetazos) with them. In addition, they must pose for a photo wearing the empty cubetazo around their neck. But what happens when someone's head is too freakishly large for a cubetazo necklace?


When I arrived in Guatemala City, I went straight to the orphanage where my sister works. They have about 250 kids there, but Molly normally works with the bebes; kids six and under. I was excited to meet them, both because they look adorable in Molly's photos and because their level of Spanish proficiency would be closest to mine.

For my first day, I wore an authentic Guatemalan shirt that Molly had bought in Antigua. It has a picture of a smiling clown on the front, and is labeled "Payasos" (Clowns, en ingles). The huérfanos really liked the shirt, which let me show off my conversational skills.

Me: Hola, Ana. Yo soy el hermano de Molly.
Ana: (points at shirt) Payasos.
Me: ¡Sí! ¡Payasos! ¡Muy bien! ¡Payasos!
Ana: Payasos.
Me: Sí. ¡Muy bien!
Me: ¡Soy el hermano de Molly!
Ana: (walks away)

I had prepared for certain vocabulary words that were sure to come up. I don't believe "¡Yo tengo tu nariz!" (Got your nose!) is a game in Guatemala, but the concept translates. They laugh, reassured, when they realize that their nariz is still there, and I laugh, reassured, when I realize that I can lie to children as a second language. The photo shows an orphan named Maribel "escalando la montaña", or climbing up the mountain.


It wasn't until my last day in Guatemala that I learned that "Payasos" is a brand of cigarettes in Guatemala. My shirt featured Guatemala's version of Joe Camel; a cute cartoon mascot who appeals to young people. I spent all day giving out hugs and high-fives to any orphan who said "Payasos" to me, and telling impressionable children that Payasos were very good. All of these adorable children who went crazy for the shirt are going to grow up to be chain smokers, and it's all my fault.

I just hope they don't try to take each other's noses.

I have returned from my trip to Guatemala and Belize, and Zembla has returned from hibernation. There's going to be a lot of vacation posts up here for the next few days, because riding through Belize in a pimped-out Bluebird school bus for hours on end gives you a lot of time for blog ideas and questionable comedic ideas.

Some of those questionable ideas were hypothetical titles for this series. Among them:

Guat You Talkin' 'Bout, Willis?

Probably should be "Guillermo".

Don't Stop Belize'n

This would be stepping on the toes of my Journey-obsessed roommate.

Guat a Fool Belize

Too self-deprecating, though I could see Michael McDonald having a great time in Central America, piloting a yacht between Punta Gorda and Puerto Barrios and going snorkeling with college girls.

So I decided on Belize It Or Guat. Enjoy the series just as much as I enjoyed drinking tap water and flushing paper down the toilet upon my return to America.

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