Happy Children’s Day, Independence Day, and Teacher’s Day! In Honduras, the month of September is chock-full of holidays. It’s been really fun to see how these holidays are celebrated here and join in the festivities.
Whereas in the U.S. Independence Day is celebrated for one night, or maybe over a weekend, in Honduras it’s celebrated throughout the entire month. Independence Day was on September 15th, but the school has been celebrating since the 1st. Each Monday, the students participate in what they call a “civic act”. They march in with the flag, sing the national anthem, say the pledge of allegiance, and read patriotic poems and essays. Each class has been working on decorating their room with streamers, signs, banners, maps of Honduras, pictures of important historical figures; the list goes on and on. I’ve really enjoyed learning more about the country through my students. Did you know Honduras is home to the second largest coral reef and the second largest botanical garden in the world? And the botanical garden is only 7 km from Tela! As a community, Tela celebrates Honduran Independence with lots of parades. Just about every school, including Holy Spirit, participates in some way. Now I can check ‘March in a Honduran Independence Day Parade’ off my list. I must say, that’s an experience I never thought I would have!
Two other holidays that we’ve celebrated this month are Children’s Day and Teacher’s Day. In Honduras, Children’s Day is celebrated on September 10th. It is a day where children receive gifts, candy, and cake. It’s almost like Christmas Day in the U.S. The children still came to school, but we only had a half day of classes. The festivities began after lunch. Under the covered court during a thunderstorm that took out the nearest transformer, the high schoolers (7th through 11th grade) lead the elementary school students (Preparatory through 6th grade) in games and activities. It was really fun to watch the older students interact with the younger students. After games and dancing (when the power came back on) the school provided cake and popsicles to all the students. It was such a fun day!
Teacher’s Day, September 17th, was celebrated in true teacher’s style – with a day off. Between the Independence Day holiday and Teacher’s Day, I ended up with a 5 day weekend! I took the opportunity to visit Claire Harkey, the other YASC volunteer serving in Honduras. I took a two hour bus ride last Saturday to “Gran Central Metropolitana”, the largest bus station in San Pedro Sula, where Claire met me with a taxi. It was a fun and relaxing weekend. We basically went shopping at the mall (it’s so big!), went to the grocery store that sells U.S. products, and watched a few movies. I made it back home to Tela safe and sound on Tuesday afternoon feeling refreshed and excited to eat Greek yogurt, couscous, Hershey’s syrup, and turkey sandwiches.
My three day work week flew by, and now here I am on Saturday again – no exciting adventures this weekend. However, I am enjoying having a day to get caught up on cleaning the house and doing my laundry. Later this afternoon, I think I may watch a movie and celebrate seven weeks in Honduras!