Festival of Kites and Jocotes

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The first and second of November are days of special significance for the people of Guatemala. At this time we celebrate ‘All Saints Day’, also called the ‘Day of the Dead’ (El dia de los muertos), a celebration with ancient roots that go back to the native people. In all cemeteries and streets of Guatemala, the sky is filled with joy and movement. Kites, symbols of communication between living beings and spirits of the dead, are flown carrying messages, hugs and greetings to the spirits of the loved ones. The kitesare  deeply rooted in local families, and they’re built with a very light rod plant called paja (straw), tissue paper (chinese paper in Guatemala) and thread.

As every year, Escuela Caracol honored this tradition celebrating the Festival of Jocotes and Kites. In addition to developing our own handmade kites (barriletes) and flying them, we also celebrated and welcomed the harvest, symbolized here by the Jocote, the representative tree of San Marcos La Laguna.

Our festival began with an offering of flowers and candles to give thanks for the harvest. The celebration of the festival was subsequently attended by the families in the school, and after the opening ceremony we all went out of school to fly our kites. After that, we share a delicious homemade lunch while listening to a beautiful marimba concert. The parents also had the chance to visit an exposition of the works of the students in our palapa. Such a perfect day!

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