Tuesday, September 27, 2005


Guatemala (along with the other Central American countries) celebrate their Independence Day on September 15. This marks the date that, after a revolutionary war in Mexico which lasted more than 10 years, Spain finally granted Central America its freedom from brutal Spanish colonial rule in 1821. (Two weeks later, Mexico was also granted its independence from Spain).

Here in Xela, the celebrations were marked by numerous parades through the city streets (especially large numbers of school children running in formations and carrying torches), as well as various concerts, fairs and of course amateur fireworks galore. (but nothing like the professional fireworks displays that mark Independence Day in the US) The whole city pretty much shut down from Thursday (the 15th) through Sunday, and public displays of drunkenness were even more excessive than usual.

As part of the Patria celebrations in mid-September, large crowds gathered in the center of Xela for parades, live music, fireworks, etc. In this picture the smoke is from a very large amount of firecrackers.

The aftermath of the firecrackers.

On the outskirts of town, they closed down the highway for the large fair which lasts the entire week of Independence Day. At the fair are rides (ferris wheel, bumper cars, pirate ship, etc.) as well as expositions, games, live music, and all kinds of food and drink.

Check out our recent trip to the Finca Nueva Alianza.