Celebrating Day of the Dead with the staff of the American School of El Salvador
Day off school? Sure, we will head to the beach!
We have been staying here in San Salvador with Taylor’s friend from university Erica. She is teaching at the American School and living in their teacher Complejo on campus. It really is such an amazing place to live as a new foreigner coming here to work, live and meet people. Their village is just of American teachers working at the school from all age ranges, walks of life and marital statuses. The group of teachers here that are now her new friends and family really are spectacular people. We were fortunate enough to meet most of them and tour the campus both on their holiday and during school hours, pretending to read along with her class in the library. We joined in on their Halloween themed trivia party night, dinners and holiday beach vacation, witnessing just how much they all really care about their students, they work it takes to be a good teacher and their different experiences from other places they have taught in the states or abroad. They are a hilarious group and we couldn’t have felt more welcome by all of them and accepted into their little family for the week.
Festivities in Tonacatepeque
The parade started at 7 pm. Keep in mind this was a small town with big traditions. Crowds lined the street, people driving in from everywhere. There were kids of all ages dressed up, who knew a 5-year-old’s could look so terrifying?! We never really did get the full educational lesson on what each character meant but as they paraded by yelling and dancing there were an array of dead brides, a women with saggy boobs, a black and white wolf, a boy with backwards feet, a man with a giant beer gut, guys on stilts, an appearing pig-headed boy and angles to name as many as I can remember. There were 6-7 floats all decked out. Kids pulling them by hand, running around into the crowds with burning torches hanging from the sides. It really was quite a show. We were so blown away we went to the other side and watched as they came back through the town square.
Being the only group of Gringos there we are an easily noticeable bunch. On their precession back to the centre one group of rambunctious kids in costumes grabbed Taylor’s hand and pulled her into the centre of their dance circle. Next Erica, and finally Frederik’s, who wins the prize for the best dance moves with the dead bride who was actually a guy!
We may have temporarily lost our car after the parade, then got stuck in traffic as everyone decided to leave at the same time, but there is nothing else can you do in a moment like that except sit your but on the curb and crack a beer. We are so grateful to have met all of Erica’s friends and that she let us invade her home and be apart of a local celebration. This is what makes trips a more memorable experience! Really getting to know the country, it’s people, its traditions and other travellers from around the world.