Family Day of Guatemala
Esperanza Kite (Kite of Hope) Project
This traditional giant kite was created for Family Day of Guatemala by Guatemalan artist Cristina España, vice-consul, Consulate General of Guatemala in Raleigh, and her husband, Nathanael Sperger.
The kite is 8 feet across and made with bamboo, twine, tissue paper, and large sheets of printed paper pieced together. It is the first of its kind made in North Carolina! Watch the video to see more about this intricate and awe-inspiring artistic process.
“The Esperanza Kite (“Kite of Hope”) was built to recognize the invaluable contribution in arts and tradition of our Guatemalan indigenous community, the sacrifice of all immigrants, and the beauty we bring to this precious country. The Esperanza Kite is a messenger of hope: Humanity will survive, and our generation will be part of the improvement of this world.”—Cristina España
On November 1 each year, Guatemala celebrates All Saints Day to remember loved ones who have died. The most renowned tradition is viewing the giant kites from Sacatepéquez, Guatemala, which can be as big as a four-story building and are true pieces of art with intricate tissue-paper figures that take months to create. Flying the giant kites takes about 12 people with experience. People from around the world travel to Sacatepéquez to experience a unique and magical day. Guatemalan kites, called “barriletes,” are seen as pleas for peace and messengers of well-being between the living and our departed loved ones.
If you couldn’t join us live for Family Day of Guatemala, watch this recording that includes remarks from the Consulate of Guatemala and a performance of traditional music. Both Wake County and the State of North Carolina proclaimed November 1, 2020, Day of Guatemala.
Make Your Own Mini Esperanza Kite
Follow along with artist Cristina España, vice-consul of the Consulate General of Guatemala, to create your own Esperanza Kite. Find out here about the materials needed and detailed instructions.
Traditional Festive Food
As part of Guatemala’s All Saints Day festivities, families prepare a traditional dish called Fiambre. This is a salad with numerous ingredients including cold cuts, pickled vegetables, pacaya flower, cheeses, olives, and chicken. Each family has its own recipe that is passed on to younger generations. In this video Durham-based El Chapin guides you through their take on this important and delicious custom.
Virtual Vendor Fair
Here is an extensive list of Guatemalan artisans, vendors, and community organizations based in North Carolina and Guatemala. Learn more about their Fair Trade products like coffee and beaded jewelry that you can order online.
- Incas, mayas, y aztecas by Lewis Spence (Spanish edition of DK Eyewitness Book)
- Ancient Maya by Barbara A. Somervill (Ancient World/Children’s Press)
- Secrets in Stone All about Maya Hieroglyphs by Laurie Coulter, illustrated by Sarah Jane English
- Popol Vuh: A Sacred Book of the Maya by Victor Montejo (adapter), illustrated by Luis Garay
- Mitología mexicana para niños by Gabriela Santana
Watch this video to enter the lives of two accomplished Maya weavers as they accept the challenge of weaving traditional blouses or huipiles. Manuela Canil Ren of Chichicastenango and Esperanza Pérez of San Antonio Aguas Calientes, Guatemala, expertly demonstrate the art of backstrap weaving at its finest and most colorful. Produced by Endangered Threads Documentaries, a nonprofit educational organization. Run time: 29 min.
Explore the tradition of cofradias with Google Arts and Culture. This online exhibition was created by the Ixchel Museum in Guatemala, a nonprofit organization founded in 1973 to collect, register, classify, preserve, study, exhibit, and promote Guatemalan indigenous attire. The collection has been enriched with donations from private collectors.