San Juan La Laguna

Calmly, "Wait, I'm going to open the gate..." expression repeated by Don Julián trying to find the correct key to open each door... Meanwhile, the cloud he did his thing hiding the mountains in its thick whiteness, in the stadium with the feeling of a labyrinth with no way out. In front of the dressing rooms, "Wait here, I'm going to prepare a bigger place" he said in his Mayan Tz'utujil language; in an instant two chairs in his hands, he invites me to enter a very narrow space, at the entrance is the toilet, then; another door that led to the back; on the floor, his bag very worn by time and a small radio; Behind the half-closed door, as if he were hiding something, a kind smile spreads from his face saying "Thank you son for coming to interview me" and apologized for his inattention yesterday.

How did Don Julián get started in all this?
Since I was little in school I liked sports, especially athletics, When I was 12 years old, I used to run in the streets of San Juan La Laguna in competitions organized by my school or the municipality. Every day my enthusiasm grew and I proposed to advance more kilometers... I started with 8 kilometers, then 10 k..., 12 k... until I reached 14 kilometers in a minimum time. That way I decided to run more and more... in the afternoons I would go to other towns to train.

And what about his rubber shoes?
Ha, ha, ha, Julián smiled…
“He wore rubber shoes. of rubber to train”, in fact they were the only ones I had because of the same poverty of the family, we were 8 children, and my father did not have enough money, I think that, for that reason, he did not want me to go running, I always took care with more and more work, but in the end, with this I saved a little money; I remember that I bought a pair of tennis shoes with 25 quetzales to participate in a competition that a priest had organized here in the community in which I came in third place.
“He ran in the 19 municipalities of the department of Sololá”

Have you won any other prizes?
Yes, thank God that it has helped me, but I don't think it's about winning prizes , but to enjoy the sport.

So nobody sponsored it…
No, nobody wanted to support me, I don't know why…I always wanted to find sponsors, unfortunately nobody helped me. supported, my wife was the only one who assisted me for any circumstance in the competitions.

And from the authorities?
Well, they promised me, but never sponsored me, the late former mayor Andrés Navichoc and his corporation They asked me to represent San Juan La Laguna in a competition in Santa Lucia Utatlán, but they never supported me, so I had to cover my own expenses. Thus, it happened with former mayor Flavio José Yojcom García, who never supported me in the field of athletics.

Despite the lack of support, you kept going. In those years, did you have followers?
Yes, Gil InesAlvarez, who is now in the United States, and Jesús Cholotío, who became a Physical Education teacher, were the only ones who went with me in 1996.
“They really inspired me to play.” Now I have been managing football for 33 years.

In addition to being an athlete, you are also well known as a soccer pioneer. When did you start managing the Quetzal team?
Since I was 15 years old, I used to come to the field and I liked to play with the gentlemen, Don Francisco Cholotío, better known as (Ope) Mauricio Yojcom, Gaspar Cholotío, Pedro Ixtamer, they really enjoyed soccer, they even brought their lunch regardless of the bad condition of the field; "Really, they inspired me to play." Now I have been directing the Quetzal team for 33 years…
Generally in San Juan, the Quetzal team has been forcing itself through the passion that people feel for the sport, previously, men were more involved. Pedro Yotz was the first to start the team, then it passed into the hands of Bartolomé Ixtamer and for now he is in my hands.

How did you learn about the football regulations?
Well, as I said, I only watched and practiced, in addition, the football narrations on the radio I learned the regulations... now I understand the formats in a stadium, and still, I am very attached to the television to continue learning.
That is how I have been developing my direction. Now, with athletics, it wasn't hard for me because really, you just have to run.

What do you think about the lack of participation of the children of the First athletes?
I don't know what to say… but nevertheless , so much I want your children to start training or practicing any sport, because they really are far from something healthy...
There are few who want to play... or mmm... I don't know... why they don't want to play anymore.

Do you think there are no opportunities for them?
It's not that they don't have opportunities, I think, they don't want to play…because now We already have a very nice stadium.


Julián: El Niño Veloz (Guatemalan Short Film)

Based on the life of Tomás Julián Cholotío

Producer: Milo Ujpán

Source: Blog Historiador Nativo

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