Yesterday was July 20, Emma’s 6th birthday and Lempira Day. Cacique Lempira is a national hero that fought against the Spanish Conquest. We were told that this is a bigger deal here in Gracias because Lempira was from here. Lempira was the Lenca Indian chief when the Spaniards landed. He joined several tribes together to fight the fleet of 30,000 Spaniards. Ultimately his army of 200 lost but he is still regarded as a war hero. The money system is named after him as well as the “state” that we live in. In honor of his heroism a celebration takes place every year where children in the public schools dress up like indigenous people groups and put on a parade. It was by far the longest parade I have ever seen in my life. All of the costumes were very interesting. Each school had a Princess that represented them. According to a student we talked to, any girl who wanted to make a dress could and then they were judged. Only items found in nature were used to tell the stories on the dresses- feathers, beans, wood, ect. Tyler was most impressed with the kids dressed up like Indians. They had hand made bows and arrows made out of wood. Tyler found one left after the parade and played with it the rest of the day. Along with the parade has been a three-day festival. Booths with pottery, hammocks and food have been set up and there have been activities downtown everyday. My highlight of the day was watching Shannon be interviewed on TV. We were approached to see what we thought of the procession and they asked if we could speak Spanish. I quickly volunteered Shannon. I am pretty sure they put it on TV just to laugh at our horrible Spanish! We finished the day with cake and ice cream in honor of Emma. Brother Armando and his wife and son came as well. They are the missionaries that have been living here for the past 4 years. All in all, a very interesting day.
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