Simiona, CFCA sponsored youth, carries the Independence Day torch in Guatemala this year.
MarÌa, another CFCA sponsored youth, also helped carry the torch during the celebrations.
Cruz Quievac Choy, a CFCA staff member in the CFCA project in Atitl·n, Guatemala, sent us this report about a popular tradition on the eve of Guatemala’s Independence Day, Sept. 15.
After 190 years, Guatemala still commemorates its independence in a unique way.
This initiative was promoted by MarÌa Dolores Bedoya (Guatemalan leader who participated in the independence movement of Central America), together with the heroes who sought freedom and called for citizens to sign the Act of Independence.
History tells us that the people joined the celebration, burning fireworks to the sound of the marimba. Independence brought great joy for the Central American countries.
The euphoria of the citizens continued as Dolores Bedoya ran through the streets of Guatemala with the light of a lantern.
Many people joined this procession, carrying a lantern as the symbol of independence for their country. In addition, it represented the light that illuminates the path of Guatemala.
Today to commemorate this celebration, people run with a torch through town after town.
Many people gather in front of the municipalities or in the atrium of parish churches where the parish priest blesses the torch or the mayor gives his approval.
On the roads, entire families come out to encourage the runners carrying the torch.
CFCA sponsored youth Simiona and MarÌa participated in this yearís civic activities.
They said it was exciting to celebrate their independence by running the torch because it is a day of celebration and living as a community with other students from different schools.
They said it was also an opportunity for everyone to demonstrate their talents in contests of folk dances, poems and songs.