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
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.