Guatemala Your Immortal Name*

September is the month that exemplifies Guatemalan patriotism and national pride. Independence Day is smack-dab in the middle of the month – on the 15th. The celebrations are in commemoration of Guatemala’s (and Central America’s) independence from the Spanish Empire in 1821. Throughout the country, in almost every city, town and village, you’ll find loads of fireworks, concerts and groups of young people running with homemade torches. In the late afternoon and evening of the 14th, if you’re in La Antigua, head to Central Park for festivities and then on the morning of the 15th, make sure to go to the Calle Ancha, near the municipal stadium in the north of town, where you’ll see the Independence Day parade featuring bands from most of the many schools in the area.  An even bigger parade is held in Guatemala City that same morning; it passes right in front of the National Palace at the Central Plaza.

Make sure to go out and soak up the celebratory mood; it’s an opportunity see the myriad ways that chapines celebrate this important holiday.

*The last line of the Guatemalan National Anthem.

Written by: Kevin Cole
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