Quetzaltenango, also commonly known by its indigenous name, Xelajú [ʃelaˈχu], or more commonly, Xela [ˈʃela], is the second largest city of Guatemala. It is both the capital of Quetzaltenango Department and the municipal seat of Quetzaltenango municipality.
It has an estimated population of 224,703.
The population is about 61% indigenous or Amerindian, 34% Mestizo or ladino and 5% European. Quetzaltenango is located in a mountain valley at an elevation of 2,330 meters (7,655 ft) above sea level at its lowest part. It may reach above 2,400 meters within the city. [source]
Quetzaltenango is known in Guatemala as “The City that is the Soul of Culture”.
The city has a lively music scene, and is home to numerous jazz and blues bands in addition to musicians playing in the native style. There is also a broader art scene focused on painting, singing and sculpture. Xela, the center of Quetzaltenango, is major tourist destination, and the city also attracts a large number of students seeking to learn Spanish.
Placed among the breathtaking mountains and volcanoes of Quetzaltenango Valley, the Mayan-inspired Quetzaltenango Guatemala Temple stands high atop a knoll on the western edge of Quetzaltenango—commonly known as Xela—near the city zoo.