Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Quince 2013

As I mentioned in our last post we spent the weekend celebrating Guatemala's Independence Day. It was a busy weekend but oh so fun! I also mentioned that on Thursday the school informed me that Cruz received the "El Nino Tecun Uman" award for having the highest grade point average among the preschool and kindergarten boys. He was presented a certificate at a program on Friday at his school.
We were pretty proud about that because 1) he's the youngest kid at his school and 2)  he studies in Spanish

Getting that award also meant he had to dress like Tecun Uman (Guatemala's National Hero) in the Independence Day parade.  I had two days to make him a costume.    I printed a picture off of the computer of what I wanted and that same Thursday afternoon we drove over to Jocotan to talk to someone about sewing for us.  We found a man that agreed to do it so I ran to a fabric store, bought some red and white fabric and thread, and took it back to him.  He made a red cape, belt, waist sash, and white "shorts".  On Friday morning I ran around getting craft supplies to make the hat, arm cuffs, club, and shield.  I spent the rest of Friday making those.  I bought his typical leather sandals in the Jocotan market.    We picked up his cape and costume Friday night and I was done.  Whew!!!
Here he is before leaving for the parade.  I thought his outfit turned out great.  He was pretty proud of it too.

The school note said to start lining up at 3:30 and that the parade would start at 4:00.  Well believe it or not the parade started at 4:00 on the dot.  Because of that many people were late and some almost missed it all together.  For example, Cruz's teacher did not get there until 4:30- we were halfway done. 

The school director gave him a sash to wear when we got there.

photos from Cruz's first march in the Independence Day parade

Here are a few videos of him:


After the parade we decided to drive into Chiquimula for supper.  Along the way there and back we passed many torch runners.  All of the schools do runs as part of their celebrations.  Cruz thought it was so cool and loved watching them run with the fire.

a photo of a group of torch runners I took out the window of our car- hence the blurriness

I had promised Cruz that if he did good in the parade I would have him a big red sucker when it was over and also a prize when we got back home.  That night this rug was waiting for him in his room.  He and Ben had a lot of fun playing on it before bedtime.

A family photo on Independence Day morning (September 15).  I bought some small flags for the boys to hold in this picture but forgot to hand them out.  I was very disappointed in myself when I realized it.  I love taking family photos on holidays and dressing in holiday colors.  It's a tradition I hope to continue for many years to come.

Later that morning we walked into our town, Camotan, to watch their parade.  We knew a few of the kids that marched in it.  It was fun and festive.
photos from the Camotan Independence Day parade

Here are some videos from that parade-

No celebration in Guatemala would be complete without tamales.  We bought and ate them twice during the weekend.  Over the weekend I also cooked chicken chimichangas, bean and cheese quesadillas, a typical Guatemalan breakfast (complete with tortillas that I made), and a dessert called dulce de quisquil.  (here's a link you can read about guisquil)  I love eating foods that coincide with every holiday. 
a tamale, dulce de guisquil, and my tortillas

Later that night we drove back over to Jocotan for all the students to participate in a closing ceremony/ flag celebration.  They were asked to wear their uniforms.  Cruz has learned some of the national anthem and makes up words for the rest, ha.  That boy loves to sing!  It was a short program but very patriotic.  Afterwards we stayed around and let the boys run and play with the other kids.  Both of them had a big time.
 playing in Jocotan after the flag program

As if we hadn't celebrated enough we also stopped by the Central Park in Camotan on our way home to watch the bands play.  My boys loved the bands most of all- especially the drums.  It was very festive!  Here's a short video of Ben.  He walked around like he was beating the drums all weekend long.  He made us laugh.

and here's Ben when we picked him up to go home.  He screamed and cried all the way to the car.  He DID NOT want to leave.  He had a fun weekend and loved all of the activities.

So what was my inspiration for decorating, cooking, making a costume, being out and about all weekend, watching the parades, etc.?  These two precious boys-
Not only is Guatemala where we live and serve but it is also the birthplace of our kids.  Because of that I want to teach them about Guatemala, allow them to be a part of the culture, and most of all celebrate with them the country that we all love and call our 2nd home.

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