Day 19: Mayans on the Move

Guatemala is at the cross-roads of North and South America and the Caribbean.  It was the heart of the ancient Mayan empire before Spain conquered it in 1500's.  Located in the "ring of fire," it is home to 37 volcanoes, four of which are active.  It is very bio-diverse as you would expect from a central American country, and is home to many cultural heritages, including some of the best preserved Mayan ruins.

Globalization: coming to a city near you....

A website such as Terabeza focuses heavily on peoples on the move--what many anthropologies call diaspora or migration studies.  Our focus is ardently people-centric and we look to various cultural elements such as food.  Nevertheless, peoples and cultures are not the only things that move across geographies.  Information, money and business, technology, media, and religion all spread across geographies.  Todays focus on Pollo Campero demonstrates how a few of these other categories transmit across cultures.  Campero started in 1971 in Guatemala and spread to the United States in 2002 when they opened their first branch in Los Angeles.  There are now more than 55 locations in the States and more than 300 branches around the world.  So, how legit are they?  For context, Guatemala is a regional flight if you live in Houston.  A friend of mine who was born in Guatemala and grew up in Houston said that before the Houston Campero location was opened that her family would buy some Pollo Campero at the airport and bring it in on their flight when they would visit her!  

Pollo Campero is not the only fast food chain we have in Houston.  We are also home to a local branch of Jollibee, a Filipino fast food joint that is reminiscent of an American style hamburger restaurant but includes particular Filipino favorites such as halo-halo (a dessert smoothie drink).


Pollo Campero (Fried Chicken)

The restaurant specializes in two essential styles of Chicken: the Peruvian-style marinated and grilled chicken, which has strong hints of lime and cumin, and the Guatemalan-style fried chicken.  If you have never had either, they are both worth trying, although I imagine that Peruvian chicken is better at a Peruvian restaurant and we have several good options there.  The Guatemalan style chicken will remind you of Chick-Fil-a style texture but with a different flavor.  For texture junkies, it is a must try since it has the perfect crispy texture that fried chicken should have.