The Guatemalan national holiday February 20 honors Tecún Umán, a K'iche' Maya king and warrior who died fighting the Spanish during their invasion of Guatemala in 1524. The battle took place near Xela, and every year we celebrate Tecún Umán at the Family Support Center.
|One of many statues commemorating Guatemala's official national hero stands in Rotonda Tecún Umán, a roundabout in zona 7 in Quetzaltenango. Xela tourists might be more familiar with the bar Tecun in Paisaje Enriquez off Parque Central. (Photo by Harry D.)|
As she did in 2014, superstar volunteer (and up-and-coming playwright) Dawn wrote a script and designed cardboard costume and prop pieces for the kids to act out the Battle of El Pinal. Actors from Gustavo's class of fifth and sixth graders narrated the drama (with a little help from Amy) and played the central figures in the story.
|The battle pits Pedro de Alvarado's Spanish steel against Tecún Umán's macuahuitl. Tecún Umán falls, and his Maya K'iche' fighters lose this battle against the Spanish.|
Dawn's special effects (a piece of green construction paper) wrought the same transformation on Tecún Umán's shield.
One of our narrators, Damaris, delivered one of the closing lines of the play: "Los españoles mataron a Tecún Umán pero no ganaron la guerra... Todavía el pueblo Maya K'iche' vive. ¡Somos nosotros!"
The Spanish killed Tecún Umán, but they didn't win the war. The Maya K'iche' people still live on. They're us!