written April 12, 1999 by Brian Foley

Geez, I leave for a month and what happens? The start of WW3 in Kosovo (shocking or avoidable?) !?! The Dow Jones breaks 10,000 and is hitting all time highs (expected when a war starts)! Gas prices in California go up (gasp!)?!? Well, lots has been going on here in Guatemala as well, though whether any of it has world changing significance is rather doubtful.

Its been a great time to watch parades, that's for sure. Lots and lotso parades and processions, from solemn to riotous.

First the riotous, because I know that's what most of you will enjoy reading:

For 101 years, the university students in Guatemala celebrate Heulga de Delores. They have a big parade the Friday before Good Friday which poke fun and sarcasm at the gov't, the church, local traditions and institutions, etc. They build puppets and signs and such which parody the things they are protesting. This has been an approved and accepted practice throughout the years, even during the civil war. However, this year many people feel that the students went over the acceptable lines. But it was fun to watch anyway...

At about 10:30 at night (Thursday, March 25, 1999) the doorbell rang at the family I was staying at. I was working on my computer, thinking it strange they were getting visitor so late at night, but knew it wasn't for me since no one knew where to find me. But I was wrong - it was Joe (named changed to protect the innocent), the one guy from the Spanish school I was at that knew where I was. He told me there was a demonstration going on and that it was worthy of videotaping - perhaps maybe I could come along and he could use the video camera to document (since it would be politically incorrect for me to be taping such a disturbance). I was all over that and hopped into the taxi waiting in the street, telling the senor of the house that we'd be back in a little while.

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