Recap

In today´s blog I will try to make a recapitulation of all my previous posts and comment on this wonderful experience I had sharing all this information about my country.

On the first blog post I described which, where, and how my country is, I talked about how it was recognized around the world and compared those ideas to the reality El Salvador is living in the present. There are many problems surrounding El Salvador at the moment. Political corruption, high criminality, beyond many other major problems El Salvador has, I tried to explain how are they being handled, and also, the other face of my country that can be seen from another perspective, a beautiful country with beautiful people and places. I also talked somethings about myself for you to know me better. The first blog served as an introductory post for my blog section of Citizens of the World.

On my second blog post I talked about All Souls Day celebrated in El Salvador on the 1st of November, and how this topic is related with me and my family, the personal connection I have on this tradition of my culture. First I described what All Souls Day is about and how is celebrated with my family, I also explained why this celebration is one of my favorites within all the celebrations and festivities we have in El Salvador, I told that besides spending a good time with my family, All Souls Day is characterized by that special food it is only eaten once a year and is wonderful, because its delicious.

My third post on this blog I talked about the important online sources that can be visited online to get some other information about the topic and also to know about tourism. This post was the shortest one, mainly because it is only the citation of other websites that can help you know better about the country.

Magico gnzalezIn the fourth post I explained the importance of one of the biggest and significant characters on El Salvador, El Mágico Gonzalez, a Salvadorian football player who had a great success in the sport and represented his country by playing on important european teams. Being recognized and catching the attention of great football teams such as FC Barcelona, he had a significant importance to the country and can be recognized as one of the symbols that identifies El Salvador.

In the following post I explained how the topic of the blog is represented on the social media, and in the last post, the one of the past week, I talked about what I think is the best topic for 2014, which is the meaning of Lago de Coatepeque for me and for the country, besides its tradition of visiting it on certain months of the year, such as august, when the lake is most visited by house owners by tradition.IMG_0756

So I hope this blog helped you all to know better about the different cultures among the different countries around the world that identify us because they have a great significance for all. Hope you have learned a lot from our stories and experiences in Venezuela, Guatemala, Spain, and the United States!

 

LAST BUT NOT LEAST

It seems impossible to recap everything that a country’s culture entails in just a couple of blog posts. Venezuelan culture is so rich that not even a book could express it. You have to live it. Even though it is not like going to the country itself and experiencing it, hopefully this blog helped in the understanding of a whole new world. I hope these posts have given an idea of what is Venezuela.

First the blog started out with the idea that we needed to show the world what other cultures and places had to offer. That the boundaries of our everyday lives that we live in should be opened up and see what has never been seen before.

The first post consisted of telling people what I was going to write about and why I chose to write about it. Here I talked a little about where I come from and what inspired me to write about it.

The second post was already about the most famous holiday in Venezuela, carnavales (The Floating Holiday) and the several case studies that have been made about this carnival.

In the third post I provided many outside resources that would help more in the understudying of the Venezuelan culture. Some talked about the political situation and how it affected culture and others talked about the festivals and typical parties. Overall these sources covered the political, cultural and historical content of Venezuela.

Owned by: Teresa Sosa domingo

Owned by: Teresa Sosa domingo

After talking about events and historical facts, it was time to talk about people. The fourth post talks about a very prominent character in Venezuelan literature: Teresa de la Parra and one of her most famous books: Memorias mamá blanca.

Bg8afInCMAA3Lw7As it may have been known before reading this next post, Venezuela is going through some really hard political times at this time which is really affecting the culture and the people. The fifth post covers the political situation in Venezuela. It does not only talk about how this topic is rampant through the media  but also how the government has completely taken away the freedom of media/expression.

Baseball season. This is also when Venezuela’s passion, like in the carnavales, goes rampant. This sixth post talks about how baseball is the number one topic right now in Venezuela, especially since the season is just starting up. It covers the main two baseball teams and how it is such a huge part of Venezuelan culture.

Owned by: elchiguirebipolar

Owned by: elchiguirebipolar

I hope this blog has fulfilled its purpose in showing how important it is to look beyond our comfort zone. It has been a pleasure sharing the cultural world Venezuela has and I hope that it has made you want to not only find out more about other places but that it also makes you want to go and see all that this world has to offer.

Halloween in the USA

 Property of blogs.timesofisrael.com

Property of blogs.timesofisrael.com

It is a difficult job to think about the best of my  topic in this year. There are lots of traditional events and I don’t think that anyone is better; all of them have their history and tradition. They represent a whole nation: United States. Because of this, instead of deciding which one is more important for the country I’m going to write about the one that  is important for me.

This important event didn’t occur this year jet. It is coming for the 31th of October. Yes, I’m talking about Halloween. This day is important for me because in Spain we don’t celebrate it as much as they do in United States. Here a few child can trick or treat or maybe some night clubs use the event as an excuse to bring people, but the truth is that people doesn’t celebrate it at all. Anyways they do honor their deceased in the following day.

In the U.S there is a real tradition. For children, dressing up and trick-or-treating door-to-door is the main event. Most households in the United States and Canada participate, and those who don’t run the risk of petty vandalism. Many adults dress up themselves, to go out with their children or to attend costume parties and contests. Million of candies are sell for that day. In the United States, Halloween lags just behind New Year’s Eve and the Super Bowl in total number of parties, and it’s second only to Christmas in total consumer dollars spent. But what is Halloween? How does everything started?

Evolving from the ancient Celtic holiday of Samhai Halloween appeared. The Celts used the day to mark the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter, and also believed that this transition between the seasons was a bridge to the world of the dead.  Over the millennia the holiday transitioned from a somber pagan ritual to a day of merriment, costumes, parades and sweet treats for children and adults.

“THE WAR IS OVER”

Last April 1, took place the 75th anniversary of the end of the Spanish Civil War. Maybe it was not the most celebrated day this year; however the war caused a strong impact on Spain, not only culturally but politically, socially and economically. This is the reason why this date must be remembered once in a while and should be mentioned, at least, on the 75th anniversary pf its ending.

Seeing the political division that the II Republic was having at that time, part of the army agreed to do a coup d’état that finally took place the night of July 17 to 18 of 1936. This action led into a war, that lasted for three years (from July 17 of 1936 to April 1 of 1939), between the people that were in favor of the coup (called nationals) and those who supported the State (called republicans).

Image owned by Info Guerra Civil

Image owned by Info Guerra Civil

The disunity on the republican’s side led into disaster and on April 1 of 1939, Fernando Fernández de Córdoba proclaimed the victory of the nationals on Spain´s National Radio whith this message “Today, being captive and unarmed the Red Army, national troops have reached their last military objectives. War is over”. The document that he red was signed by Francisco Franco, who became dictator of the country from that date until his death on November 20 of 1975.

The war led 268.000 deaths taking on account warriors, international militias and civils on both sides. This is one of the reasons why the Civil War is considered the worst disaster on Spain’s history of the XX century, also the dictatorship that came afterwards was based on oppression, fear and death for the non-supporters of the leading party, which considered itself as fascist.

The 1st of April of 1939 meant the end of a war but also the begging of a regime based on despotism that finally ended on 1975 with Franco´s death and the instauration of democracy with Adolfo Suarez.

Lake Coatepeque

Today I am talking about my favorite place in the world. and it is about Lake Coatepeque. Lake Coatepeque has been my favorite place from all the places I´ve been in my life since I was a kid, and I think no other place will never overcome that lake for many reasons. Today´s blog will be divided in 3 parts: what is Lake Coatepeque, tourism and vacations in Lake Coatepeque, and my own personal experience. So, lets get started.IMG_0127

What is Lake Coatepeque.

As some of you may know, El Salvador, as well as the other countries in Central America, has a volcanic land. Volcanoes in El Salvador exist since many centuries on the past and they are still an important part of the country. El Salvador itself has an estimate number of 23 volcanoes, but only a small amount of them are actually active volcanoes. The most important and recognized in El Salvador are San Salvador, which is in the capital of the country, Santa Ana, Izalco, and Chaparrastique, which is actually in a mild process of eruption of ash and rocks.

Lake Coatepeque formed from the series of explosive eruptions around 57,000 years ago, Coatepeque was once a volcano forming part of the group of volcanoes in the Santa Ana department consisting of the Santa Ana, Izalco, and what is now Lake Coatepeque. It is located in the Coatepeque municipality of Santa Ana, it is 26 square kilometers large, being one of the largest lakes of El Salvador. Coatepeque has one island on its southern part called the Teopan Island.

Tourism and Vacations on the lake.

Lake Coatepeque is considered one of the most important touristic attractions of the country because of its beautifulness and the variety of recreational activities that can be done while visiting including waterskiing, wake boarding, jet ski riding, boat tours, paragliding, between others.

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This is me wake boarding in Coatepeque.

Coatepeque can be visited always and in any season of the country, since in Central America there is only two seasons, summer and winter. The lake has houses on the most part of its coast. There is the chance to rent a house for a vacation or stay on one of the hotels located on the lake.

The lake is visited mostly on summer, owners of beach houses on the surroundings of the lake go to stay for summer vacation, normally about one or two weeks. On the first week of august, people visit the lake for the whole week. On the lake one can decide whatever to do from waterskiing or riding a boat with friends. On the last years, in August week, parties, barbecues, and other activities were organized for the people to assist and have a good time.

Lake Coatepeque is listed #2 of 27 touristic attractions on TripAdvisor rated with 4.5 stars and 231 reviews. this place is, without doubt, a most when visiting El Salvador.

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My Personal Experience

as I said before, Coatepeque has been my favorite place from all those I´ve been and I think no place I visit in the future will overcome it. There are many reasons why I can say this, on of those reasons is that it is very easy for me to visit it because it is 45 minutes in car away from my home and my family owns a house on the border of the lake. Second is that since I was a kid I always loved to go and just to stay in there, and I still do.

I have been visiting the lake for many years and doing all kinds of recreational stuff that can me practiced on the lake, including wakeboard, which I started to practice as a sport for about 2 years. The  lake is for me just the perfect place to have a good time, with friends and family in a friendly environment full of fun. I have always liked spending time with family in the lake, and its very fun and relaxing at the same time. It is for me a very meaningful place.

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All the pictures have been taken by myself.

VENEZUELA & BASEBALL – Topic of 2014

We already talked about how Venezuelans situation is probably the most known news about the country in the pasts years, but we will not talk about it again instead we will talk about Venezuelan Baseball since it is also a ranging subject since the season for this year has started!

There are many things that make up culture. Music, dances, food and also sports. Usually people think that in Latin American countries what is most important in sports is soccer, which in some way, it is true. In Venezuela soccer takes a lot of importance and is very cultural but even more than soccer there is baseball. To give an example, to those who know how important football (Futbol Americano) is to the United States, that’s how important baseball is to Venezuela.

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On the left the Magallanes Logo and on the right the Leones Logo. Picture owned by: Toonspot

Baseball in Venezuela is huge. It is the number one topic now and probably holds that standard always. Venezuelan baseball players are one of the best. In Venezuela there are two main baseball teams: Los Leones and Los Magallanes. Los Leones is the team of Caracas, which is Venezuelan’s capital. Los Magallanes are from Valencia. These two are the main baseball teams in Venezuela.

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Luis Aparicio. Picture owned by: SiBCI

Our teams have won several of the Caribbean Series. In the Baseball World Cup they won la Serie Mundial de Aficionados in 1942 and many more.  They also won in the baseball tournament at the Pan American Games.

Some of the greatest figures in Venezuelan baseball are: Alfonso Carrasquel, Ceasar Tóvar, Andres Galagarra and Luis Aparicio (who made it to the National Baseball Wall of Fame).

Right now, the 2014-2015 season games are taking place. So Venezuelans are very up to date with the games that are going on right now. The team plays nearly every day from now to December. There are hundreds of tweets going out every single game and posts on Facebook of the excited fans. People are excited, baseball is back!

Venezuela comes alive when baseball season starts.

Baseball. Venezuelans pride. 

193 ANNIVERSARY

With events like 15 thousand torches lit places and locations that will tour the country, the hoisting of the national flag, a festival and a ceremony headed by President Otto Pérez Molina, Guatemalan get ready to commemorate the 193 anniversary of the independence. caminata

The celebration for the Day of the Fatherland began Sunday when a popular celebration is held in the Constitution Square, center of the capital, and will close the evening with a civic ceremony attended by the President and Vice President.

On Monday 15 September the ruling, accompanied by Cabinet officials, military officers and members of the diplomatic corps installed from one at the main entrance of the National Palace of Culture, the traditional parade of school bands scenario.
Cómo-se-celebra-la-Independencia-en-Centroamérica
The authorities of the Standing Committee of the National Independence Celebrations, chaired by the Ministry of the Interior (MINGOB) organized civic celebrations for the anniversary in which the country is imagesdecked.

After the rehearsal, Sunday patriotic celebration activities conducted at 8:00 pm in the Plaza del Obelisco for lighting torches.

President Pérez Molina and vice Baldetti light in the Constitution Square fire cauldron, where about 15,000 torches schools, neighborhoods and communities of the interior light.

The leaders  then participated in the solemn Te Deum Mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral and from the balcony of the National Palace of Culture witness the raising of the flag that is in charge of cadets Knights of the Polytechnic School.

On September 15, the civic parade  made against the National Palace, with the participation of 80 school bands, which will end the celebration of the 193 Years of Independence Guatemala the Spanish Crown.

guatemala-independencia-300x224Meanwhile, in the Patio de la Paz’s Old Government House an employers fair  performed with the display of a carousel, the Ferris wheel and sweets accompanied by two marimba groups who performed tunes like Railway high.

Guatemala celebrated in 2014 the 193 anniversary of the indepence and it was important for every citizen. it meant freedom for everyone.