Independence Celebrations in Guatemala


Parades, souvenirs fireworks folkloric dances, everything about Indepencence Celebration in Guatemala. On Sept. 14 scholars, students, co-workers, neighbors, family and friends gather together in small and not so small groups to participate in the traditional Ir a traer la antorcha (literal translation, “Go bring the torch”). This tradition involves traveling to another Guatemalan town or city. Popular destinations include La […]

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Tambores (photo: Leonel Mijangos -

Loud, proud bass drumbeats in school parades; sad, slow beats of mourning in funeral processions; rapid, staccato snare drum ruffles accompanying glockenspiel chimes: Drums are part of human culture worldwide, but Guatemalan drumbeating is especially vigorous, more than ever in this month of patriotic celebrations. Archaeologists have uncovered many pieces of unadorned drums in digs into the oldest of Mayan […]

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Would the Real Independence Day Please Stand Up?

Guatemala, El Salvador and their sisters did not win independence on Sept. 15 At our house in Panajachel, July 4 is Independence Day for two reasons. As citizens of the United States, my sons and I observe it in some fashion. But July 4 is also the day that my youngest, Aaron Donald Coop, marks his birthday. This was not […]

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Sensuous Guatemala: Independence Celebrations!

Independence Day Celebrations by Rudy Girón

The steady beat of the marching drum, the somewhat-less-steady march of student footsteps along the cobblestone, the sudden thump of a mortar, a shell climbing to burst into multicolors of celebration. Any good excuse is a good time for celebration, of course, but September holds a special one: Independence Day on the 15th, and the sounds, smells, tastes and sights […]

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