17 September 2010
El Día de la Independencia
Well world, the 15th of September is a very important day here- it marks when Guatemala became independent of España in 1821. Woo!
Celebrations began on the 14th when us 6 students went to the centro of our little town, and saw 100s of little kids in ALL manners of costumes... brides, grim reapers, huge paper mache animals, mimes-- you name it. Unsure of their meanings, but from here, we met up with the Antigua students from our school (15ish) and lit our torch for our run to Antigua. Apparently it is very customary. My estimate is about 7km, which is kind of a lot if you haven´t been training and have been eating lots of less-than-healthy foods... and if you have an emergencia del baño. I´ll leave it at that, and assure that I made it finally. We spent the rest of Tuesday in Antigua where loads of flags, decorations, etc were everywhere!
Wednesday, we got uip early and went to the Parque Central de Antigua to watch the desfile (parade)-- it was long. As in, we stayed for like 2 hours and then wandered elsewhere... but it was really cute! Youngest kids started (at 8) and they got progressively older towards 1:00 (yeah, really long parade.)
So bajillions of schools around the Antigua area were respresented, pretty much everyone had a group of just plan walkers, who wore their school uniforms and carried a school logo-banner. Then everyone had Señorita de La Escuela (complete with pageant sashes), then most schools had a band/ drum line/ baton-girls/ something else that followed. Now, given that the route took like an hour, it wasn´t necessarily the liveliest performance anyone every gave... but it was still fun.
That night, we came back to the little town where we live and there was a big fair-thing going on with food vendors, marimba players, and some dancing-- mainly it was just nice to be outside at . Guatemala is really strange to me in that one doesn´t go outside once it´s dark. I´m not sure if this stems from wartime (15 years ago) or what, but one simlpy stays inside once it´s dark. The end. It´s been pretty hard to get used to... and last weekend, I walked home from Tina´s house (about 1 block) at 9:45pm, and it seriously felt like 3 in the morning. Anyway, we don´t go out at night-- consequently I go to bed at like 9:30 and have already read 4 books. haha
Anyway, Happy Indepence, Guatemala! Also a special shout-out to Erica who turned 24! Feliz cumple, abuelita!
Posted by Juli's Journey at 3:06 PM