Autumn brings one of the most important Guatemalan holidays: el Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead). In Guatemala it is unique and quite different from the traditions in Mexico and other Latin American countries: celebrations mostly happen on November 1st, Día de Todos Los Santos (All Saints’ Day). It is a joyful celebration full of life and color where Guatemalans combine elements of Mayan culture and the catholic religion and honor their loved ones through food, flowers, music and activities.
One of the most important traditions on All Saints Day is the Guatemalan giant kite festival, where locals create spectacular giant barriletes (kites) measuring up to 15 ft. Kites serve as a symbolic connection to the dead, believed to help guide the returning spirits to their loved ones. At the Center, our students made their own, smaller, kites to observe this unique cultural tradition and join in the celebration!