Here at Love & Hope, we take advantage of any opportunity to celebrate a holiday. Even though the Fourth of July is not celebrated here in El Salvador, we were not stopped from having a little fun. El Salvador and the United States have a very strong relationship; rightly so when you consider that more than one-fourth of Salvadorans actually live in “los Estados” (the states). El Salvador even uses the American dollar as currency. Celebrating the Fourth of July may have been a little obscure here, but with almost everyone we know having a relative in los Estados (not to mention our American volunteers), it seemed appropriate. We had a great Independence Day at Love and Hope! It was filled with red, white, and blue food, decorations, and activities.
On the night before, we gave the kids and caregivers a blank flag to color and told them that whoever can most accurately depict the flag will win a prize. Everyone knew the flag consisted of the colors red, white, and blue, but we ended up with a variety of versions. Two of our older girls recreated the flag with 100% accuracy and even added extras to their flags to make them better. Raquel went outside and found a stick to use as a flag pole, and Michell cut out 50 individual stars to put on her flag.
During the day, we enjoyed many Independence Day themed snacks including red and blue star shaped sandwiches, an American flag made out of fruit and marshmallows, and Jello flags.
The older kids were also given a trivia quiz about the United States to complete. This task also tested the knowledge of the Americans in the house when the kids came running up asking for help. The kids ended up doing really well on the quiz, with some even proving they knew more about the United States than the Americans. The winner was Brenda, who not only answered all of the questions correctly, but included additional information with many of the questions. One question asked, “How many presidents have died on July 4th?” The only thing she needed to do was circle the correct answer, but instead she included the names and years that they died (Thomas Jefferson and John Adams in 1826, and James Monroe in 1831). Another question was, “What country first used fireworks to fend off evil spirits?” Ezequiel quickly yelled out “California!”
Feliz Cumpleanos, America! We hope all of you enjoyed celebrating the with family and friends as much as we did.