NPH Family in Honduras Takes Part in Independence Day Parade
Parading through the streets of talanga to celebrate september 15 in Honduras.
September 30, 2010 - Honduras
September 15, Talanga, Honduras—Though it was 6:45 in the morning and still a little chilly from the previous night’s voracious rainstorm, 21 year-old Isabela flashed a rare wide-toothed smile from her wheelchair and posed for the camera in her traditional Honduran hand-stitched blouse and skirt. Bright yellow flowers offset her thick dark hair, and she gleamed while the other children complimented her on her beautiful outfit. Soon she would be boarding the NPH truck, decorated patriotically in blue and white, to be transported to the nearby town of Talanga where the big parade would be held.
September 15 is Honduras’s Day of Independence, and the Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos™ Honduras family gathered in Talanga to celebrate by participating for the second time in the Independence Day Parade. Over eight local schools marched through the main business district for nearly two miles in uniforms and traditional wear, banging drums and twirling batons in front of a crowd of hundreds of onlookers, numerous judges and local news reporters.
Isabela is ready for the big parade.
Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos™ stood out proudly from the other schools: our well-organized marching band led by our percussion instructor was met with cheers from spectators, as were both of our boys’ color guard teams—all looking sharp in black sunglasses— and our two girls’ baton dancing groups, outfitted in glittering red top hats and freshly shined boots. Our youngest children marched, too, depicting such famous historical characters as the Mayan Indians, Honduras’ native hero Lempira, and the president and first lady.
Another group of our youngest children sported flower petals and butterfly wings to represent the flora and fauna of Honduras, showing impressive determination as they pressed on despite the long march. Our special needs children waved proudly to the crowds from the NPH truck, Isabela smiling among them. Employees bearing the NPH logo interspersed themselves throughout the various marching groups.
The biggest threat to the day was not the keen eyes of the judges, but the unforgiving heat and at times cloudless blue sky. “The heat was exceptionally grueling, but the kids were tough,” noted Jason Miller, an American volunteer currently working as the coordinator of the Holy Family Surgery Center. Dehydration was combated by our alert water team, quick to hand out bags of water while the legions marched on toward the central park where the parade route ended.
Finally, our proud paraders reached the judges’ stand and presented their musical talents and competence in dance and discipline. Last to be presented were Moises, Angel, and Cesare, dressed as clergy in white robes and carrying with them the founder of our family: a large black and white photo of Father Wasson. Although we gathered to remember Honduras’s independence from Spain in 1821, it was clear that the NPH Honduras family was also celebrating the spirit and success of Father Wasson’s mission at one of his oldest homes, embodied in the unified family of our children, staff, and volunteers as they paraded with the local community.
Our children and employees returned to Rancho Santa Fe after enjoying a merienda (snack) in Talanga’s central park of frozen juice and cookies, exhausted from the morning, but satisfied with their performance and looking forward to next year’s Independence Day celebration.