Sunday, September 10, 2017

Independence Day Celebrations at New Life School

One thing is certain amid all the uncertainties in Guatemala.  Guatemalans love their country, their heritage and their independence. I have always been impressed with the respect paid to the flag and the national anthem (I am sure it has six stanzas and lasts 5 minutes--exaggeration maybe, but it is long compared to our perfunctory singing of one verse of the National Anthem in the US) by the citizens here. Our partnership with New Life School helps us to appreciate this patriotism even more as we celebrate national holidays with them.

The beautiful, but rarely seen quetzal
lives in the northern part of the country
The name of the national flower
actually translates to mean
"white nun."
Independence Day is not until September 15, but in the schools the celebration begins long before that.  The hallways at New Life are already adorned with pictures the students have made of quetzales (the national bird), marimbas (the national instrument), monjas blancas (the national flower), ceiba trees (the national tree) and national heroes of Guatemala.

Presentations of gymnastics, poetry, and singing, highlighting Guatemalan culture, are held throughout late August and early September.

Some of the boys presenting a traditional dance

Gymnastic performance by some of the older students

Our little ones were not left out.
Here Seno Lilia's students are waiting to perform.

Each school selects an honor court (think homecoming, but on an elementary level) to represent the school in the Independence Day parade.  New Life is excited to be part of the celebration in Santa Maria de Jesus.

Our 2017 Ninos and Senoritas representing New Life
with Seno Rosa Angelica (Gr. 2) and Profe Manuel (Gr. 6)

And, lest you think that it has all been fun and games at the school this month (though learning should be fun, and games are useful teaching tools!), there has been academic preparation for the holiday, as well.  Below are some pictures of Seno Nisza's fifth grade students who gave speeches depicting various presidents of Guatemala.

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