During my elementary years (before 1991) we had field trips to the zoo and I still remember the animals in cages of thick black iron bars. Today it is a different story, although still a modest size zoo, it is very well put together, animals are well taken care of, there are educational stations, there is a petting zoo, there is a tea house that can be rented for events, etc. Most importantly it is an oasis of nature in a city packed with cars an people.
To be true to the spirit of my blog, this post couldn't be complete if I did not bring up "La Mocosita". La Mocosita was the indian elephant every kid from 1952 to 2008 grew up with. She got coverage every year of her birthday celebration plus other times, like when e a child threw a ball and the Mocosita swollowed it! "Mocosita" by the ways means "little bugger". It could be despective if you call somebody mocoso or mocosa, but it can be sweet when you get called "mochocha pechoca" (something like my cute little bugger) like my mom would sometime call me and how she does now with my kids: Alex is El Mococho Pechocho 1, Nicole is La Mococha Pechoca 2 and Megan is La Mococha Pechoca 3.
Below is a picture of La Mocosita, the last time me saw her, she is with no doubt part of the Guatemalan culture.
The zoo is located near the airport is safe, inexpensive and accessible, learn more... Also Check out the "Noche de Luna" at the Zoo (My parents took the girls and they loved it). The zoo is open for a nocturnal experience of the animal behavior, children are encouraged to bring flashlight cover with red cellophane paper in order to not disturb the animals.