November 2008 - Sumpango, Sacatepequez
 
In Guatemala, on November 1st, All Saints' Day, people visit the dead to give them a big party right in the cemetery.  Thousands of cemeteries are brightly decorated.  Two, in Santiago Sacatepequez and in Sumpango, each close to Antigua, are known for their "Giant kites", "Barrilletes gigantes", that they've made for over 100 years.  In Santiago, the kites are IN the cemetery.  In Sumpango, they are built and flown in the stadium just above the cemetery.  Tens of thousands of people go to see them.  We visited Santiago, and now, the amazing Sumpango.  WOW!  What a colorful country that is Guatemala, we love it
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Spectacular kites in Sumpango ... please click to see a larger image of this photo
Sumpango, Sacatepequez ... we saw a kite flying competition, as well as these huge stationary "barilletes"
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This is how the large kites are built, with huge bamboo sticks, lots of rope and thin paper ...
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... and each kite carries a message, this one talked about Guatemala's illegal immigrants in the United States, "our brothers, they cry out blood", it said
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Can you see the size of the kite, compared with people in front?

The "new technology", gigantic kite that would have dwarfed all the others being raised in the center, snapped in two.  Next year, better design
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Jennifer & Monica came along to Sumpango
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Watching kites also means eating fried corn with salt and lime, delicious!
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This year, Sumpango was clean ...
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... although a lot of food and drink was being sold
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Here goes up another kite, with its own group of people ...
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... and it looks almost as if Frida Kahlo painted it
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Hello from Sumpango ...
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Jennifer wanted me to pose for a Gallo beer ad and took the photo ...
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... as more and more gigantic kites were being put up, while smaller ones flew overhead
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This kite was flying really high above the stadium and all way over the other kites, on a strong rope, you can see it flying above all the ladies in the photo just two rows above, the kite just stayed really high up there ... and I got a chance to try and hold it for a while ...
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... and the Guatemalans were laughing at the "gringo"
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Jenny & Monica, now friends since 2003, enjoying the kites ...
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A wonderful day in windy, sunny, cloudy, Sumpango. 
Everyone got a big suntan.  1st November 2008.
   
   

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This page was last updated on 11/03/08.