September 15th, Independence Day for the country of Honduras. Today marks the 194th celebration of the declaration of independence by the 5 Central American states (Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua, San Salvador, & Honduras) from Spain. Today I got to celebrate by not having school and attending the Independence Day parade (or el desfile). It was definitely a fun cultural experience, plus I was able to see a couple of friends perform in the parade!
The parades here are a little different from parades in the States. Defiles are not composed of many beautifully designed floats with people who throw pieces of candy to the bystanders. Here, a parade is an opportunity to present one’s school in front of the mayor of the town. Each school, primary, secondary and college, has various groups: dancers, gymnasts (similar to tumbling with different stunts, and all on the pavement!), bands, groups who present the flags (banderas) of Honduras, their graduates, and students wearing cultural dress, sometimes acting out a scene of a historical event.
The highlight of the parade was getting to watch Alejandra (left), the little girl I live near, play her instrument in the parade, as well as Karla perform in a gymnastic act. In the first picture (to the right), she is the one doing the bridge in the middle. They did great! I’m so glad I was able to go
to support them!
We didn’t stay for the whole thing because it was very hot and we were standing the whole time. It started at 7:30 am and was still going when we left at noon. After the parade we stopped to grab a lunch of papusas before returning home…where I promptly took a nap 😉 It was a wonderful culture experience and a fun time spent with friends!