I’ve now had two birthdays in Honduras. The Halloween tradition for volunteers here is to go to the Copan Ruins, which is a cute town by Mayan ruins, to celebrate together. I went for the day before my birthday to see friends who I hadn’t seen in a while and to spend some time in a town where I can feel like I’m living a life of luxury (meaning running water, hot showers even though it was too humid to take them, and a couple restaurant options).
After spending some time with friends I took off before the actual Halloween festivities to attend a graduation ceremony. School here is divided into kindergarten, 6 years of elementary school, and colegio, which encompasses both junior high and high school. There is a graduation ceremony after kindergarten, elementary school, and high school. Graduation from sixth grade, the ceremony I attended, is a big deal since some students cannot afford to go to colegio or are needed to help the family.
After some speeches (fortunately not too many) the students are called up one by one to receive their diplomas. To receive the diploma, they walk up with their families and padrinos. Padrinos, godparents, are usually family members and are chosen especially for this occasion. I was asked by the mother of a family who is like my host family here, to be the madrina, godmother, for her daughter, Daritza. The ceremony was going to be in December but since the school year ended early, it landed on my birthday.
I have posted two pictures: one of Daritza and I with her diploma and the other of the family, one of the kindest and committed families I know here. It was a really big honor to be asked and it meant a lot to Daritza and her family. It was a great way to spend my birthday.