As Guatemala’s Independence Day approaches the unbroken sound of schoolchildren playing drums, the speakers blaring with pop music and buildings adorned with balloons and flags have all been woven into everyday life. On my walk home today I ran into a parade of schoolchildren marching with drums. The spirit is high as everyone comes together to rejoice. As Sarah mentioned in her previous blog, the celebrations began last week and each day they have become more and more vibrant leading up to the big day. Luckily for us, there are plenty of community events and activities we have been invited to which give us a chance to learn more about the local culture, as well as foster deeper relationships with the community.
We have to split our time between the two schools we work with, so this weekend we have a packed schedule of festivities. Schools here take the events very seriously, and all of teachers and children celebrate together. On Friday we will join Central for an afternoon event which will go until 10 PM! We haven’t been told many details about the event, so it will be a pleasant surprise. The next day at 8 AM we will head back to join Cooperativa’s parade. We will be marching through the town for close to two hours. After that we head back to Central for lunch with the Padres de Familia (PTA). One thing we have learned about Guatemala since arriving is that they know how to make the most out of celebrating. We are all looking forward to our first Guatemalan Independence Day, and we will report back in the next blog post!