On September 15, 2015, Guatemala celebrates its 194th Day of Independence from Spain. Safe Passage encourages the celebration of this historic event with lively activities including the annual la Antorcha (the torch run).

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“Preserving a tradition dating back to the night before the historic day itself (14th September 1821) in which independence hero, María Dolores Bedoya, ran through the streets of Guatemala carrying a lantern as a symbol of hope for the nation’s liberated future, modern-day participants take equal pleasure in celebrating their continued independence.

In a combined effort, the relay runners, generally of school or university age, cover a distance of approximately 350km across the five Central American countries. Naturally, the extensive relay creates great excitement amongst Guatemalan spectators who cheer loudly as they watch the torch pass through their beloved towns and villages.” Source.


La Antorcha commemorates the independence of Guatemala along with other Central American countries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua. This annual tradition begins at the Obelisk in Zone 10 in Guatemala City and, for Safe Passage, ends at the Educational Reinforcement Center (CRE) in Zone 7.

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Guatemalans and international volunteers alike sport the colors of the Guatemalan national flag and Guatemala’s streets come alive with revelry and merriment. Guatemalan children often take center stage in the celebration, symbols of hope for the nation. View more photos from the Independence Day events on our Facebook page.

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