Christmas is upon us, and yet it is hard to shrug off the angst and fatigue of the pandemic-laced 2020. While it is easy to dwell on this, it is important to remember the good, and what God has done during this year.
Though there won’t be any organized Christmas celebrations at Source of Hope School this year, the El Zapote village, where the school is located, is full of local Christmas traditions. “During this season, we eat so many tamales! On Christmas Eve most people stay at their grandparents’ house and give gifts to their families and neighbors,” says Raquel, a teacher at Source of Hope. “We eat dinner very late at night and at midnight we set off fireworks to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.”
One Christmas highlight for the children at Source of Hope that won’t change this year regardless of COVID-19 is the Christmas gift of a brand new pair of shoes for every child. Every year at this time, Iglesia Galilea (Galilea Church), in partnership with Kids Alive Guatemala, provides this gift. The school year in Guatemala runs from early January through mid-October, and November and December is vacation time between grades. The children start their new grade with a brand new pair of shoes on their feet.
The year 2020 has looked nothing like what anyone could have envisioned, and it often feels like more has changed than has stayed the same. Traditions are an important way to connect with the past and remember God’s goodness through this difficult time.