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    Posted August 21, 2013 by
    Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Central American Independence Day

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    Independence Day - Guatemala


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     AlanaImagesThis photo was taken by Alana McConnon, a 47-year-old teacher from Australia who is currently living in Guatemala. The horizontal marching band was taking part in the annual Independence Day celebrations in the city of Antigua Guatemala, south west of the country’s capital.

    “The parade was made up mostly by school groups from the town. Groups participate as either the school band or a group representing something cultural such as a folk dance, the wearing of traditional clothing, promoting the town’s touristic attractions or a message of tradition such as the legends of the Maya,” she said.

    “There are a lot of school bands in a parade. They take the choreography as seriously as the music. This particular band was unique. Lying down isn't common and was just part of this bands performance. I just happened to arrive at the spot when they were doing that part of their routine. The music is generally marching music, though often modern pop tunes are performed as well, all with a heavy focus on the percussion,” she added.

    According to the teacher, who is in the process of re-training to become a professional photographer, people in Guatemala celebrate Independence Day the evening before. “Groups of people take turns to carry a torch from the central point in the main municipality to their town or neighbourhood and recreating the original message of independence by firing off hillside flares,” she said.

    “As an Australian I don't celebrate the Independence Day myself. However, I see it as a wonderful opportunity to witness a cultural celebration and learn from it,” she added.
    - stinabacker, CNN iReport producer

    Independence Day Parade in the streets of La Antigua Guatemala
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