Friday, June 26, 2009


Canche is a coloquial expression meaning 'blond', but even fair skin burnetts could be canches in Guatemala.  peroles is used to rhyme with frijoles (beans). The expression wants to convey that even if you are blond or fair you are still a bean eater. My mom's friend Florecita still to date calls me Canche Peroles. (and yes I still eat beans as often as possible)

"Canche Peroles" is the name of the last book written by my friend Ruben Chaven. The book is the survival story of  el canche peroles, a boy from the city dumpster, who manages to survive and even transcend with the help of two friends. It is a fiction story based on true story written in such a way to entertain you with the story but more importantly persuade you to become aware of reality.
The presentation and book signing took place  at Sophos in plaza Fontabella. The mayor of San Jose Pinula, Tono Coro, who wrote the prologue, commented an presented the book. (on the left in the brown jacket). 

I met Ruben in the late 90's when he owned and was the Principal of the school Jose Cecilio del Valle. He had one of our English programs and I gladly was the project manger of it since every visit was a great opportunity to have philosophical conversations with Ruben. Ruben was born in Argentina, lived in the US during his 20's and later move to Guatemala where he has become a hard core Guatemalan, participating actively in education and politics. He calls me madrina since I invited him to be part of the Rotary Club, where we have been  fellow Rotarians for the last 10 years and even more our families have grown cherished bonds of friendship.

Other books written by Ruben Chaven are Soñadores, Tattoo, la imprompta blanca, Miguel el tiempo no tiempo, Puta  Cara Mia, Nariz de Frijoles


$13.00 + $5.00 S&H Ships to all Canada and US. Allow 10 days. For other countries email me.

If you are purchasing more than one item to a single address: Choose option with shipping ONLY FOR ONE ITEM. Pay only ONE $5.00 shipping fee up to 2 books and 2 magazines or a single purchase of 15 magazines.

Shipping Options
Powered by Paypal


Nancy said...

No pude estar allí, snif.

Unknown said...

Great post and extremely interesting. Are there any other contemporary Guatemalan books and/or authors you would recommend?

Unknown said...

Feel free to email me privately as well. I think you should be able to see my email address, but if not, I have now enabled follow-up posts to email me, and we can figure out a way to exchange emails.

Thanks so much for your wonderful blog!!!

Mama Bear said...

very interesting post and sad to even think of children living in the dumb and garbage cans even though we know it's true, sigh.

Kim & Dave said...

Yeah, I would love to get my hands on that book, too! Wonder if it's on Amazon?

Off to find out!

Kim & Dave said...

Not on Amazon.....also wonder if it is available in English. My Spanish is probably not good enough to get much out of it!

Unknown said...

I found it online at Sophos, a bookstore in Guatemala. I bought this as well as a few other books . . . beware shipping to the US is ~369Q, or ~$50 . . . recommend getting several books if you buy this. My Spanis is pretty poor as well, but I figure I can use this as an opportunity to learn more. =-) Direct link is

Guatemalan Genes said...

Sorry to get back so late on this.

Wow, it is quite a bit the shipping, I bet is UPS.
The link to Sophos is on the post. Sophos is the closest there is to Borders or Barnes and Noble in Guatemala. It is a place were you can touch the books, sit down an browse vs most of the other bookstores where everything is sealed or behind a counter.

It is not translated yet, since it just came out. There isn´t much literature translated. A classical is El Señor Presidente. Mr President written by Miguel Angel Asturias Nobel Prize Winner in Literature.

Brian, did you buy Puta, cara mia? If not if you send me your address I will send you a copy. Ruben game me some complimentary ones. Write to I have 2 copies, anyone else?

Unknown said...

I just emailed you my address. Thank you so very much for your generosity.

I didn't get Puta, cara mia, so it would be an excellent addition. I have read El Senor Presidente . . . luckily this was translated into English already. It was an incredible book, and I see why Miguel Asturias has such a reputation for reality that borders on the surreal. It was painful to read in parts, the pain and suffering of some of the characters was terrible.

The books I purchased are:

Canche Peroles, Come Frijoles
Miguel El Tiempo No Tiempo
Nostalgia Guatemalteca
Miguel Angel Asturias, Guatemalteco Universal

It was hard to choose some books, as my Spanish is poor (Google translate is wonderful) and some of the descriptions were missing, but I think I'll be happy with these books. If there are any other books by Guatemalan authors that you might recommend, I'd LOVE to hear about them either via email, or as future posts. =-)

Thanks again for your wonderful blog . . . it's helping to provide a sense of contemporary Guatemalan culture back to the little ones who have lost it.

Kim & Dave said...

Thanks for the info!!!!!