Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Quince 2014

On Monday we celebrated Guatemala's Independence Day- 193 years. This is the day on which Guatemala won its independence from Spain in 1821. Four other countries also declared their independence on September 15, 1821: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua and were celebrating as well.  The holiday is often referred to as "The Quince" because it falls on the 15th of the month.  Fifteen in Spanish is "quince". 

Here is how we celebrated this year-
Our day got started with a typical Guatemalan breakfast.  I made scrambled eggs, refried black beans, fried plantains, and tortillas.  We also had orange juice and coffee (lots of coffee). 

The Quince is one of the only days of the year that I attempt to make tortillas.  It's not as easy as the locals make it look.

fried plantains (plátanos) are a staple food here in Guatemala

As you know no holiday would be complete without a family photo. 
our family celebrating The Quince 2014

That morning we walked down to the center of our town (Camotan) to watch the parade. 
Here's Cruz getting ready for the parade to start. 

And here he is doing the same thing back in 2012 and 2013. 

me and Ben waiting for the parade to start

Here are some photos of the Independence Day parade in Camotan, Guatemala-

Ben got all into it.  Here he is waving his flags as the parade passed by.  He would smile and wave at everyone.  It was precious to watch him.  He loved the bands!

Here are a few videos-

And here are the boys playing on the town's new playground before we headed back up the hill to our home.

I had planned on us eating tamales for lunch.  I mentioned before that a guy comes around every Friday afternoon selling them.  I was banking on him coming by last week but it stormed on Friday afternoon and he didn't come.  So, that meant no tamales for the Quince.  Bummer!  Instead I made black bean and cheese quesadillas.  It's one of my boys favorite foods.  To go with it we had blue star jello jigglers and a Guatemala flag cake that I made.   It was a fun lunch.

I baked a chocolate cake and decorated it to resemble the Guatemala flag.  Cruz just gasped when he saw it and was so proud.  I think I'll make this a new yearly tradition. 

One thing I realized last year for the Quince is that you cannot find blue jello in Guatemala (at least not anywhere where I have shopped).   I have found most every color except blue.  I put it on my list of things to bring back from the States so we could have it for the Quince (yes, I'm just that OCD to plan ahead for such a small detail).  I thought the color turned out perfect for the holiday!  The only problem is that I only brought back one box.  Cruz has begged me since we returned to make him that blue jello.  He was glad to finally get to eat it on Monday. 

The rest of the day was spent napping, playing, and packing for a trip into Guatemala City that we are currently on.  It was a fun day and we had a fun time celebrating together.  Have I mentioned lately that I love holidays?  I just really, really love them!

I'll leave you with this last photo of our sweet Ben sound asleep that night.  My boys were TIRED by the end of the day.   All that celebrating can be hard on the little ones (and us big ones too, ha).  My favorite part of every day is going in at night to check on my boys and watch them sleep.  It's just the most precious sight ever! They are the reason I decorate, make special foods, and try to make holidays so fun.  I am building memories that I hope will last them a lifetime. 
sweet dreams baby boy!

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