Symbols of Guatemala

Symbols of Guatemala

Guatemalans are proud people, proud of the beautiful country and of the symbols that represent it. Most of these symbols delight the eye, and some are pleasant to hear, taste, smell, or touch. Spot them all to add to your memory bank of the country, whether you live here or are just visiting. The blue-white-blue vertical bands of the national […]

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The Flag(s) of Guatemala

The Flag(s) of Guatemala

“That flag is a symbol we attach our emotions to, but it isn’t the emotion itself and it isn’t the thing we really care about. Sometimes we don’t even realize what we really care about, because we get so distracted by the symbols.” —Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test Though flags represent the values of that country, freedom, vigilance, […]

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The Tradition of La Antigua Guatemala Marching Bands

The Tradition of La Antigua Guatemala Marching Bands

Independence Day celebrations in Guatemala include flags flying everywhere, speeches, music, celebratory food, and fireworks, but most especially in La Antigua Guatemala generations of students from local schools have marched through the cobblestone streets for almost a century. Through the years the high mark has been set by enduring bands from four educational institutions, Antonio Larrazabal (INVAL), Olimpia Leal (INSOL), […]

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José Cecilio del Valle of Guatemala

José Cecilio del Valle

On the eve of celebrating Central America’s independence from Spain, and six years before its 200th anniversary, a Guatemalan remembers José Cecilio del Valle, his long-forgotten great-great-great grandfather, a key player in the region’s independence and one of the great thinkers of his time. (1780-1834) Mexico and Central America became independent from Spain on Sept. 15, 1821, but it would take […]

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Who signed Guatemala’s Declaration of Independence?

In reviewing my ancestry, I found that my great-great-great-great-great grandfather, John Witherspoon (New Jersey), signed the Declaration of Independence of the United States. Perhaps that is why I became more interested in who signed the Declaration of Independence of Guatemala on September 15, 1821. The 18th century brought rising commerce and an emerging merchant community in Guatemala. The Free Trade […]

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Freedom and Independence

Independence Day Run (photo: Rudy Girón/rudygiron.com)

Freedom is the absence of constraints and dependence. In the personal realm this can be confusing. For example, does being without constraints mean a solitary life? Or, how does a person reconcile freedom with the responsibility of a family? Independence holds admiration and aspiration for some, while others turn away in fear. We can be free, yet also be connected […]

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