Independence Week

Last Saturday, September 15, was Independence Day here in Guatemala. Thus, the kids had several non-academic school days last week. Starting Wednesday, the whole school went to the muni stadium (muni=the town of Chamelco) and played basketball and soccer against other schools from Chamelco. (no pictures 😦 )

Thursday they had a ‘Festival de Comidas Típicas’ (festival of traditional food) at their school where each class sold several different Guatemalan foods and all the kids dressed in ‘traje típico’ (traditional clothing).

Friday was the ‘traída de la antorcha’ where the school went to Cobán (9km/5.5mi from here) and lit their torches from the central torch there and ran it back to Chamelco. This is done by school children throughout the country to symbolize the spreading of the news of the country’s independence from Spain. There is also a large torch run from Guatemala City all the way through Central America to Cartago, Costa Rica to follow the route of the original mail that shared the news with all the freed territory. Jacob got to be one of the original lighters of a torch and Nathan also had the opportunity to carry it for a short distance. Esther started the run with her class, but then fell and ended up in the truck with Ted who was leading the run with speakers of praise music to keep them going. She slept the whole way. 🙂

Saturday was the official ‘desfile’ (parade) here in Chamelco. Ted again was asked to lead the school’s contingent with his truck playing music. Abby, Luci, and I went to watch and enjoyed seeing all the kids in the different traditional clothing and other costumes. (Well, Luci lasted through about 2 schools and then wasn’t interested anymore…we didn’t stay for the whole parade.)

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The kids didn’t have school Monday so we took a spontaneous trip to a local swimming hole for lunch. Tuesday was back to school–just over a month remaining!


And one more freebie picture, because who can resist this cutie?!


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Doce Mil Palabras

A picture is worth a thousand words, ¿verdad? Therefore, this is a twelve thousand word post!


An early January supper at our home with visiting friends and the Vida220 Guatemala team.


Several little girls who missed Esther at church one Sunday when she was sick.


Friends of ours lost their husband/father last summer. Hermana Patrona demonstrates a waist loom they use to make ‘designer’ huipils (the blouses Kekchi ladies wear) as a source of income.


Ted with the four graduates of his small business class “What’s in Your Hand?” in January.


Ted and Abby visited Tikal in February for Abby’s birthday. They also met some fellow missionary friends from Belize.


Pastor Abelino leads a Bible study in a community.


We picked the kids up from school one day and went to a local river for some wet, cool fun…with crabs!


At the end of March, we enjoyed several days with fellow missionaries around Central America at the annual EMM Retreat. Our days were packed with fellowship, prayer, swimming, worship, learning, sharing, and just being together.


We were also able to spend an afternoon with the O’Connors, a fellow missionary family from Upstate New York who came to Guatemala last year. We’d been trying to make this meeting work for almost four years!


A beautiful garden in San Pablo Chicoc.


In the communities, the children participate in all the activities attached to their mother.


…and this is what keeps me busy most of my days. This little one doesn’t take a break very often!

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Día del trabajador

Labor Day is celebrated on May 1 here in Guatemala. Since it is a federal holiday and most things are closed, the boys’ school had a family festival at a local ‘balneario’ (swimming hole) today. Not having any idea what to expect, we weren’t quite prepared for the day, but it was a fun time.

They split everyone up into ‘families’ (teams) and each family had to go through the 14 stations surrounding the river–some of them in the river. It was a wet and muddy experience, but enjoyed by all and we also got to know some of the parents of the boys’ classmates.

Here’s a few pictures of the day. As the designated ‘dry-person’, I had the camera, but also the baby, so I didn’t get to all the stations before they had already finished and were on their way to the next one! Each station was named after something in the Bible (Nile River, Red Sea Crossing, etc) and had a Bible verse to go with it.

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