“Noche Buena” or Christmas Eve, marks the traditional Christmas celebration in Guatemala, which is similar to traditions across Latin America. It is always celebrated with close loved ones.
To prevent COVID-19 surges, the Guatemalan government has restricted family gatherings to 10 members, so the Christmas celebration is expected to be muted.
At Oasis these restrictions will prevent our friends, volunteers, and supporters from joining in our Noche Buena dinner celebration; instead, our children and house moms will eat a special dinner together. However, many of our missionaries will come after dinner to help facilitate the traditional evening of games, worship, skit competition, presents, and fireworks.
One of our favorite traditions at Oasis is our Christmas skit competition that we have between each of the houses. This year each house will be invited to come up with a segment of the Biblical Christmas story and to present it creatively.
In past years we have had entertaining skits that included Santa’s Wacky Sleigh, Superhero Christmas, and Disney Movie Christmas. Each of the houses finds a way to present its skit in the most hilarious or spectacular way. We can’t wait to see how this year’s competition unfolds.
After everyone has eaten, we have a short worship service, followed by games and skit competitions. Finally, the evening concludes with opening Christmas stockings and presents! Each child at Oasis receives a stocking full of small trinkets and goodies, as well as a larger present specifically selected and bought by the staff.
As Christmas Eve draws to a close, we all gather outside at midnight to enjoy a great display of the customary fireworks. All across the dark horizon, flashes of fireworks splash across the sky like camera flashes in a dark stadium. As they slowly fade, so do our celebrations. Everyone returns to their houses with warm Christmas cheers and well wishes.
Christmas morning is celebrated by taking things slow and waking up much later than the usual 5:30 a.m.!
Merry Christmas from our Oasis family to yours!
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Young ladies in Latin American cultures celebrate their 15-year-old birthday as if it were a “Sweet 16” celebration in the US. In November Oasis held our annual Quinceañera celebration for all the girls turning 15-years-old in 2020. COVID-19 restrictions meant that the young ladies could not invite family, friends, or mentors to Oasis for the great ceremony and luncheon. Fifteen girls at Oasis celebrated their 15th birthday in the most COVID way possible.
Fifteen girls celebrated their birthday this year with big dresses, great food, and a lovely ceremony, but without family, friends or mentors outside the immediate Oasis employees and missionaries. Our Kids Alive Guatemala staff made every effort to connect these girls with the ones that they had hoped to celebrate this occasion with.
Because this has been a year like no other, staff and missionaries have really tried to make this year’s 15-year-old celebration special. The 15 quinceañeras were invited to an elegant candlelight dinner at the house of a couple of our missionaries. For most of our 15-year-olds it was the first time that they had left Oasis since Mid-March. Take that COVID!