A Guatemalan Cultural Celebration For Dia de Los Muertos

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After the Kite Festival in Guatemala, we were headed toward Antigua where we intended to stay the night, when traffic suddenly stopped. Slightly annoyed at the interruption in our journey, I figured I would at least go check out what was going on (we could hear music blaring.)

I walked up with some of the kids, but as we approached, the music was so loud that Atlas was scared and wanted to go back to the truck with dad (the speakers filled up the back of a large flat bed truck!) Suddenly we saw a bunch of costumed dancers in the street. I don’t know what it represents, or why they do it, but I do remember seeing a similar performance in Panajachel the year before.

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It was so hot, the dancers must have been sweltering in those costumes, especially with all the movement they were doing. I kept wondering what kind of dehydration issues they might be facing later. They weren’t going anywhere, so we kept watching…

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And watching…

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And watching…

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I wondered if they were ever going to stop. Drivers on both sides were already honking and angry. They chose to close a major road, creating a forced audience.

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I decided to return to the truck, and soon after I heard the band stop playing (I thought it was a CD this entire time, but the band was in the back of another truck.)

 

Rachel Denning
Rachel Denning is an unassuming mother of five who never really did any international traveling until she had four children. After a second honeymoon to Playa del Carmen, Mexico, she and her husband decided to sell most of their belongings and move their family abroad.

Driving from the United States to Panama, they settled in Costa Rica for a year, until the U.S. financial market crash in 2008, when they lost their location independent income. Returning to the United States to look for work, they knew they'd be back 'out' again, having been officially bitten by the travel bug!

Despite adjustments to living a simpler life (or perhaps because of it), they were able to save enough money to move to the Dominican Republic in 2009. After six months they came back to the States once more, where they were offered employment working with a non-profit organization in India.

They spent five months living in Tamil Nadu, then returned to the States once more (to Alaska) so they could have baby number five - Atlas.

From there, they set out in April of 2011 to drive, in a veggie powered truck, from Alaska to Argentina, visiting every continental country in North and South America.

Travel is a part of their life now, and they can't imagine doing anything else. Rachel photographs and writes about their incredible family travel adventures on their website, and they also have resources that encourage others to live a deliberate life.
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