CONGRATULATIONS to all the Challengers on our first six Charity Challenges of 2011, biking from Guatemala to Honduras, the inaugural Nicaragua Volcano Challenge, Brazil's Chapada Diamantina Challenge , Guatemala's first Caribbean Kayak Challenge, Perú´s Cerani Pass and Ecuador's Volcano Challenge. Nicaragua's second volcano Challenge is set for 3rd-6th November and the third Guatemala Volcano Challenge dates are set for 27th November -2nd December.

Click on the following for our most recent official project reports for Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Perú and Brazil.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Independence Day in Guatemala

September 15th is Independence Day in pretty much the whole of Central America, with celebrations going on all over...our projects in San Andrés Itzapa and Santa María de Jesús were no exceptions, with running the "antorcha" and "niños abanderados" the orders of the day.

In Santa María, we ran the "antorcha". GVI staff and volunteers, plus some of the kids and Dads from the community donned our running togs and lit the torch in the Central Square in Antigua.

From there, we ran, bearing said torch, about 5kms out of town towards Santa María, with the obligatory ambulance in front (not for emergency sake though to let the route know we were on our way!)

After a few kms we jumped in the ambulance and a pickup which took us around 2kms out of Santa María, and continued to run, entering the village, streets filled with locals, lobbing water etc, until we finally planted the torch outside the municipality.

In Itzapa, we decided to reward the best kids in true Guatemala fashion by draping them with the banner of the Guatemalan flag, or in spanish, "abanderados". The kids felt so proud, especially William in Atitlán, singing the national anthem!

For those volunteers from Itzapa, you know who your kids are! They all fully deserved this honour, which is traditionally for the better-off kids in the national schools, so for our kids to experience this was great to see!

Also, in true Guatemala Mayan tradition, we had to appoint two queens, so in the morning, who better than Amalia, who has been in our school since she was a 6-month old mound on Sulma´s back. In the afternoon, Delmy was designated the queen.

It is so important to retain tradition in the communities, and each volunteer, alongside the community members, made sure these traditions run strong for another year.


How does GVI Phoenix make a difference?

The following film was made in Guatemala, though the message is the same across all GVI Phoenix projects