Mar 30, 2013

CHURCH of ENGLAND HOMOPHOBIA: ¨The word 'homophobic' comes loaded with very negative connotations but it is a word with which the Church will forever be justifiably saddled if it continues to oppose advances like equal marriage...¨

Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury
“We have to be very clear about homophobia”, said the freshly enthroned Archbishop of Canterbury to the BBC last week. This quite obviously being the case, the first point on which one ought to be 'clear' is the following: the Church of England is institutionally homophobic.

This kind of statement is controversial only to those wishing to downplay the Church's direct opposition to the rights and the dignity of homosexuals. To the growing numbers of ex-believers and non-believers it is perfectly self-evident; indeed to many believers, who see no conflict between Jesus and marriage equality, it is equally self-evident. But it is not apparently so to the head of the Anglican community. And this, though I commend his eagerness to meet with Peter Tatchell as a genuine advance in this department, is a point on which Justin Welby needs some forthright clarification.
After all, if there is one activity at which the Church of England excels it is euphemism; its spokespersons are known to use language in a frustratingly vague manner, frequently leaving audiences with no clear impression of what they were trying to communicate. The Church has first and foremost a duty to respect the rights of individuals but it is therefore imperative that it respects language and its usage. The word 'homophobic' comes loaded with very negative connotations but it is a word with which the Church will forever be justifiably saddled if it continues to oppose advances like equal marriage, as it so strenuously does either directly or through politicians speaking on its behalf...¨ there is more

Thanks to the Independent, United Kingdom
Thanks to Ralph Jones
Thanks to Thinking Anglicans, sidebar

Mar 29, 2013

My name is Cason Crane and I'm a 20-year-old adventurer, mountain climber, and LGBTQ rights activist who is currently raising awareness for suicide prevention in the LGBTQ community

Cason Crane at Vinson Massif (Antarctica)

Meet 20-year-old gay activist and mountain climber Cason Crane, who has raised US$100,000 for the Trevor Project which provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBT youths in the US, by climbing the highest mountain on each of the seven continents.

Cason Crane is just 20 years old and he has already scaled five of the world's seven highest peaks and could well be the first openly gay person to complete the Seven Summits not just for himself but to raise both awareness and funds for the Trevor Project. The non-profit group provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth in the US. Since the start of his Rainbow Summits Project, Cason has raised US$100,000 for the Trevor Project.
The avid runner, swimmer, and triathlete who came out as gay in his teens said he was devastated when one of his friends and classmates in high school committed suicide and was shocked when he learnt that suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15- to 24-year-olds. He was also impacted by the death of Tyler Clementi, a gay teenager from New Jersey who had been bullied
"His death opened my eyes to the growing problem of youth suicide, specifically in the LGBTQ community. I learned that LGB youth are four times more likely than their straight peers to attempt suicide. Underlying these tragedies were my own personal experiences -- being teased and called names, getting shunned in the locker room -- but I was fortunate to have the loving support of my family and friends, unlike so many others." Cason wrote in a column published in theHuffington Post.

He will be making a stop in Singapore enroute to Nepal to climb his second-last mountain, Everest in April, and is slated to meet young LGBTQ people at a Young Out Here event on Friday, March 29 at 3pm. The event is open to all LGBTQ youths age 25 and below. Sign up here.

Since climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania (Africa) with his mother in 2008 at age 15, Cason has climbed Cerro Aconcagua in Argentina (South America), Mount Elbrus in Russia (Europe), Vinson Massif (Antarctica); and Carstensz Pyramid in New Guinea (Australasia). He expects to climb his last mountain on the list, Alaska’s Mount McKinley, later this year. And when he does that, he will be the fifth youngest and one of about 350 people to conquer all seven peaks.

He writes on his website about climbing Everest, the tallest mountain in the world: "I'm busy getting ready for what I think will be the biggest challenge of all. As part of this climb, I will be carrying prayer flags to the summit of Mt. Everest, with dedications on them to people who have committed suicide or been the victim of harassment, bullying, homophobia or intolerance. I welcome anyone who would like to dedicate a prayer flag to go and let me know how you would like the dedication to read. I will transcribe it onto a traditional Tibetan prayer flag and take it to the top of the world with me.
"I hope my adventure will serve as an inspiration to young people like me to be true to who they are and to know that they are not alone. It’s also my hope that calling attention to this rampant problem will help kids’ parents, families and friends be there for the young people in their lives as they discover and embrace who they are."

The following interview was provided by Young Out Here, a LGBTQ community youth group in Singapore:

Cason Crane at Mount Elbrus in Russia (Europe)

Thanks to Fridae Asia, sidebar

Mar 27, 2013

SHE WAS GRATEFUL FOR THEIR KINDNESS: Edie Windsor has overcome, no matter what the Court decides.

Edie Windsor, 83 year old widow

My Heart Broke a Little Today

83-year-old widow Edie Windsor is suing the government to strike down DOMA, and today was her day in front of the Supreme Court. She spoke on the sidewalk afterward about the heart attack she had not long after her wife Thea’s death and how the government had treated their relationship like it never existed.
What moved me most was her description of how she’d been closeted for so many years, and how she was so grateful today for the kindness in how the Justices treated her.
She was grateful for their kindness.
Take a moment to realize that for most of her life, this kindness — this civility and dignity and respect — was something she and Thea had no reason to expect. It breaks my heart with regret at what these women had to live through, and it breaks my heart with joy that this heroine has never let it overcome her. Edie Windsor has overcome, no matter what the Court decides.
This is a precious moment in the struggle for dignity. The dignity our elders were denied, the dignity they fought for and won, the dignity we feel today, and the dignity we’ll pass down to those who are now only kids, starting to wonder if they’re gay, and taking hope from the courage of this tiny 83-year-old lady.
Thanks to Waking Up Now:


"The marriage institution cannot exist among slaves, and one-sixth of the population of democratic America is denied its privileges by the law of the land. What is to be thought of a nation boasting of its liberty, boasting of its humanity, boasting of its Christianity, boasting of its love of justice and purity, and yet having within its own borders three millions of persons denied by law the right of marriage? -- what must be the condition of that people?" -- Frederick Douglass, "My  
 and My Freedom" 

This is the Jefferson Memorial, if any were wondering what the Founding Fathers might say today as the Supreme Court considers the "Defense of Marriage Act." 

Mar 21, 2013

IT'S BEEN A BUSY WEEK IN CHRISTIANMUNDO: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, enthroned today

Justin Portal Welby, 105th Archbishop of Canterbury
Vamos a ver, part II

Installation of the Archbishop of Canterbury

Justin Welby was installed as Archbishop of Canterbury and Primate of All England in a service at Canterbury Cathedral this afternoon. This event is commonly called his enthronement, although this word does not appear in the order of service.
Articles looking ahead to the service
The Archbishop’s website published this on Tuesday: What happens when an Archbishop is enthroned?
Robert Piggott for the BBC How new the Archbishop of Canterbury will be enthroned
Order of Service: “The Inauguration of the Ministry of the One Hundreth and Fifth Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Portal Welby”
A recording of the service is available to UK viewers on the BBC iPlayer for the next seven days.
Reports of the service
The Anglican Communion News Service has these Photographs from the Enthronement.
BBC Justin Welby is enthroned as Archbishop of Canterbury [includes video highlights]
Paul HandleyEd Thornton and Rachel Boulding in the Church Times Dancing welcome for Archbishop Welby
John Bingham in the Telegraph Justin Welby enthroned as 105th Archbishop of Canterbury
Sam Jones and agency in The Guardian Justin Welby enthroned as archbishop of Canterbury
Also in The Guardian Justin Welby enthroned as new archbishop at Canterbury Cathedral – video
and Archbishop of Canterbury enthronement - in pictures

Liz Dodd in The Tablet Welby enthroned as 105th Archbishop of Canterbury
Cheryl Mullin in the Liverpool Echo Justin Welby is enthroned as Archbishop of Canterbury [includes photographs]
Matthew Davies at Episcopal News Service
Archbishop of Canterbury enthroned in ancient splendor [includes video]
Video: Designer Juliet Hemingray on the archbishop’s vestments

Mar 17, 2013

DEMOCRATS ABROAD/GUATEMALA: Sizzling Socializing, Welcoming, Engaging, Sharing and Friendshipmaking!

The upstanding standing committee is charged with socializing Democrats Abroad
Yesterday was the annual meeting of Democrats Abroad, Guatemala, Central America, Chapter.  The Meeting was called to order and we proceeded to thank our outgoing board of officers and then we promptly reviewed our past years performance.  We, at least I am, taking large credit for the reelection of President Barack Obama because my absentee ballot mailed off to Orlando, FLORIDA surely made a difference (at least for him).  The NEW board of directors and executive committee was unanimously approved (after being vetted by our committee right here in Guatemala)...a group of notable citizens and good friends were elected with ALL eyes cast toward taking back the House of Representatives in 2014.   

As the meeting pressed on, it was determined that we ALL also wish to connect with some of the 50,000 other Norte Americanos and duo/American-Guatemalan citizens (as in United States of North America) who we don't know!   50,000 Americanos is quite a number to attempt to locate and invite to our get-togethers at Democrats Abroad/Guatemala, but, heck, they elected me ¨social committee¨ chairperson to help do it!   What a challenge this was and so I immediately connected with my friend Caroline from Santa Maria de Jesus,  and she, graciously agreed to be cochairperson.  Our committee is made up of several  fabulous/enthusiastic Americans -- Brittiny, Letty, Burt, Shannon and Lynn.  We intend to make like,  love and not war (or bore)!   If you know of ANY Americanos living in Guatemala who may wish to be connected to Democrats Abroad (some very cool people are Democrats around here) please refer them to me so I can invite them to our upcoming luncheon on Saturday April 6th!  We ofcourse are a bi-lingual lot (mostly, somewhat) and everyone is welcome (besides we're going to have some really terrific parties, once a month, all year, and any red-blooded and full-fledged, and honorable, equal-opportunists won't want to miss out)!

Leonard Clark Beardsley
santosiempre at y and hoo dot you know what!

Mar 14, 2013

同性恋亲友会.PFLAG China: ¨We are from all parts of China, and our children are homosexuals, so we are called “Comrade Parents” [“comrade” is slang for homosexual in Chinese]. ¨

同性恋亲友会.PFLAG China

THE BISHOP OF ROME - VAMOS A VER: ¨Bergoglio’s warmth instantly struck people as sympathetic, and indeed charismatic.¨

¨Pope Francis is warm, humble, and ready to shake things up. Christopher Dickey on the cardinal who managed to escape the taint of the church’s worst scandals.
Pope Francis, a.k.a. Jorge Mario Bergoglio, is a very humble man with a very complicated history.
As an Argentine, the 76-year-old is the first pontiff from the Americas—anywhere in the Americas. Indeed, he is the first non-European pope since the first millennium. His fellow cardinals had gone to “the end of the world” to find him, he said with winning modesty in his first remarks from the balcony at St. Peter’s.

Argentina’s Jorge Bergoglio, elected Pope Francis I, appears at the window of St. Peter’s Basilica's balcony after being elected Wednesday the 266th pope of the Roman Catholic Church. (Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty)
He is also a Jesuit, part of that order of brilliant scholars (think of their Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., for instance) and historically an order of conspirators whose leader used to be called the Black Pope, a power behind the scenes in the internal politics of the Catholic Church...¨

Mar 11, 2013


¨There has to be a distinction between "religious conservatives," and "religious fascists." Those who seek to deny others basic civil rights, and cast aspersions on assorted minority groups such as gays and illegal immigrants are religious or secular fascists. People like Franklin Graham, Ken Hutcherson, Ralph Reed, and their ilk are not "religious conservatives" but "religious fascists," as I see it. I am a religious conservative, as I believe in the contextual rendering of Scripture, the virgin birth, the Resurrection, etc.  I think that it's crucial that we make that distinction.  True Christian Conservatives do not seek to in any way judge or defame others!

Even non-Christians know that Christians are to address the injustices of society, and care for the poor and unfortunate who are down on their luck; Christians should be able to be counted on to help others, and not to seek to judge or exclude others from good will and good works. Indeed, they well know that Christians are called upon by Jesus to love other people and not to judge them!

Yet, they and we are constantly bombarded in the media and in all too many churches with the propounders of a false gospel of legalism that is no Gospel; with those who show no love, but seem to delight in engaging in faulty biblical exegeses to justify condemning their fellow human beings; with those who would much rather erroneously select some obscure verse out of Leviticus to condemn others and seek to deny LGBT people civil and sacramental rights than do the work of a ministry that seeks social justice for all of God's children; by a gospel that has as its litmus test genital placement rather than the exercise of love toward all of God's creatures; with those who embrace the most reactionary elements in society and do so in the name of God, rather than heed the words of Jesus that we are to care for the least of His children; with those who are haughty, smug, and arrogant, rather than witness the expressions of the meekness and humility Jesus admonishes us to have in dealing with other fellow human beings and with the things of God.

There is a judgment! And the professing Christians who, by their ignorance and/or avarice and/or twisted psyches cast aspersions on the Gospel of grace, the unconditional love of Jesus toward all of God's children, thereby turning away countless intelligent, decent, sensitive people from God, will drink the dregs of that judgment to the very last drop, for, "It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones." (Luke 17:2)

Thanks to The Rev Dr. Jerry Manker, sidebar

Mar 10, 2013

OUR DAY OF REST: What a lovely day of snoozing it has been

A day of rest featuring ¨Fido¨ de Gonzalez
I don't remember when we did it before.  I mean, I don't remember when this household slept the day away. It certainly wasn't recently because we have so much to do and say on the weekend.  Juan Carlos calls it spending the weekend in his ¨ jaula¨  or cage in English.  It's a voluntary way to spend the weekend in our little house -- he does it gleefully, as do I, and of our own individual accord, but this weekend was even better -- we relaxed entirely, slept, watched some movies and ate snacks.

¨Coban¨ de Kossoy (he and his new brother ¨Calvin¨ will be visiting soon)
We have four dogs of our own.  We also have the dogs of our friends, the famous Kossoy Sisters,, who often stay with us, when the sisters fly away...we convert into being ¨Camp Gonzalez¨ and joyfully all the dogs get along and we sing in perfect harmony just like them on's really fun.  

One of the fertile Cockatiel boys
Did I mention that we have various tropical birds, including a sometimes squawking parrot name Pancho (who hates me) and beautiful Cockatiels. of many varieties (that are so well cared for by JC that they have lots and lots of babies).  Then there are my favorites, the Doves.  The Doves that coo-me-awake in the morning and say good-night the same way.  I love the Doves.  Recently one of the Dove couples, Mr. and Mrs. Swell Dove, had a baby.  This baby had deformed legs and can not walk.  Mr. and Mrs. Swell Dove cared for their baby and now baby dove is a big dove that lives pretty much on her own scooting around on the floor of one of the dove jaulas...she's a fine dove and seems happy as can be.

It's almost time to go to bed...what a wonderful weekend it has been.
Thank you for being our friends
Here's looking at you kid!
¨Honey¨ wishes you sweet dreams too

Mar 9, 2013

AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION: No Scientific Basis for Banning Same-Sex Marriage

American Psychological Association Files Brief with the U.S. Supreme Court

Claims No Scientific Basis for Banning Same-Sex Marriage
The American Psychological Association in Washington, D.C, is the world’s largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States.  It is the world’s largest association of psychologists. Donald N. Bersoff, PhD, JD, said that the association has a long history of supporting equal access to legal marriage based on years of scientific research. “There is no scientific basis for denying marriage to same-sex couples particularly when research indicates that marriage provides many important benefits.  The research shows that same-sex couples are similar to heterosexual couples in essential ways and that they are as likely as opposite-sex couples to raise mentally, healthy, well-adjusted children.”
What the Briefs State
“Like heterosexual couples, same-sex couples, form deep emotional attachments and commitments.  Heterosexual and same-sex couples alike face similar issues concerning intimacy, love, equity, loyalty and stability, and they go through similar processes to address those issues. Empirical research demonstrates that the psychological and social aspects of committed relationships between same-sex partners largely resembles those of heterosexual partnerships.”
The briefs cite empirical scientific evidence that demonstrate that “homosexuality is a normal expression of human sexuality, is not chosen and is highly resistant to change. There is no scientific basis for concluding that gay and lesbian parents are any less fit or capable than heterosexual parents, or that their children are any less psychologically healthy and well-adjusted.”
How Conclusions Were Drawn
The briefs do not focus on one single study, but on general patterns.  They rely on the best empirical research available.  The studies in the brief were critically evaluated to assess their methodology, including the reliability and validity of the measures and tests employed, and the quality of data-collection procedures and statistical analyses.
Amicus Briefs Argue
“Friend of the Court” briefs filed in the cases of “Hollingsworth v. Perry”which challenges California’s Proposition 8, and U.S. v. Windsor, which challenges the federal Defense of Marriage Act, state that denying recognition to legally married same-sex couples stigmatizes them.
Other Leading Mental Health Orgnaizations that Filed Briefs
The other mental health organization who filed the Windsor and Perry briefs were:  The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Association, California Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, American Psychoanalytic Association, National Association of Social Workers, the New York City and New York State Psychological Association, American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, the California Chapter of NASW, and the California Psychological Association.

Mar 8, 2013

FROM THE LAND OF THE RISING SUN: Japanese lesbian couple marry at Tokyo Disney

¨A lesbian couple, who held the first same-sex wedding at Tokyo Disney Resort, has made headlines around the world after they tweeted photographs of their celebrations last Friday.

The New York Times reported that Koyuki Higashi and her partner of one and a half years, Hiroko tied the knot in front of 30 well-wishers on Friday. Higashi, 28, is a stage actress turned gay rights activist after coming out less than three years ago. Although her partner did not reveal her full name as some of her family members are not fully comfortable with her sexuality, she hopes that her wedding will help create a public discussion around same-sex marriage which Japan does not recognise. Her Twitter account has since been inundated with congratulatory messages and positive comments.

When Higashi contacted the resort in May 2012 about the possibility of holding her wedding there, she was told that she would be able to marry her partner provided they were dressed "like a man and a woman". She posted their condition on her blog which soon attracted public criticism and the couple was told a week later that they could both wear wedding dresses.,,¨ please read it all:

Mar 7, 2013

ANTI-SEMITIC HUGO CHAVEZ: Long the Bane of Venezuelan Jews, Chavez Is Gone. Now What?

Over the past 14 years, Venezuelan Jews have been leaving the country in droves. When Chavez was elected in 1999, there were more than 20,000 Jews living in Venezuela. Today the community is estimated to have fallen to less than half that number.
¨For more than a decade, Venezuelan Jews have been holding their breath, subject to the whims of a mercurial president who used his bully pulpit to intimidate, rail against Israel and embrace Iran.

There was the police raid of a Caracas school in 2004, allegedly to search for evidence in the high-profile murder case of a prosecutor. There were the demands by President Hugo Chavez when war broke out between Israel and Hamas in December 2008 that his country’s Jews rebuke Israel for its conduct in Gaza. There was Chavez’s warm alliance with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. There was the use of state radio to spread anti-Semitic canards.

Most recently, there were revelations that Venezuela’s intelligence service, SEBIN, was spying on the country's Jewish communty. 

While Chavez never explicitly threatened the Jews of Venezuela, his frequent harassment and staunchly anti-Israel positions kept them continually on edge. Afraid to criticize their president, the Jewish community found itself in a predicament that took on a frightening resemblance to the one faced by Jews in another staunchly anti-Western, anti-Zionist country: Iran.

But even with Chavez gone, felled by an undisclosed form of cancer at age 58 just weeks into his fourth term, Venezuelan Jews aren’t quite ready to exhale.

For one thing, Chavez leaves behind a country wracked by violent crime and mired in economic turmoil. For another, Chavez played such a commanding role in Venezuelan life and politics that nobody is quite sure what will happen to the country.

Perhaps most notably for Venezuela’s Jews, far fewer of them are still around to find out...¨ please read it all:

Thanks to Uriel Heilman, JTA

Mar 5, 2013

THE ARCH-HOMOPHOBE OF NIGERIA: Over and over again, Nicholas Okoh blames, condemns and demonizes LGBT Christians for corrupting church/society

I think Archbishop Okoh is a tiresome, complaining and feckless lot of a preacher.  +Nicolas constantly bellyaches/pontificates about the terrors in Nigeria/beyond of a deadly Okohstyled gay agenda.  Never/ever has +Okoh offered a solution or a path to peace and/or loving neighbors (all, muslims too) other than excluding, demeaning and the damning of his perceived ¨evil people¨ to Hell.  

The man, in my mind, incites fear, hatred and violence both at home and abroad and seems to be working on becoming an accessory to crimes against humanity. 

Does Anglican +Nicolas initiate emotional/spiritual instability amongst Nigerians/others and is he a slothful clergyperson who harms fellow citizens at church/beyond when spewing self-righteous nonsense

Leonardo Ricardo

Nigerian Anglican Primate Stirs Homophobia

Anglican Church Of Nigeria Backs Harsh New Anti-Gay Law
London - 4 March 2013
The Primate of the Anglican Church of Nigeria, Most Reverend Nicholas Okoh, has condemned homosexuality and gay marriage, saying: “The basics of Jesus Christ will continue to be our teachings and we will not depart from it....The basics of Christian marriage is between man and woman."
British human rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell, has criticised the Primate, who heads the Anglican church in Nigeria, accusing him of "stirring up prejudice against gay people in Nigeria."
Okoh spoke during the ordination of three Anglican Bishops - James Olusola Odedeji (Bishop of Lagos West), Simeon Oluwole Borokini (Bishop of Akure) and Geoffrey Enyinnaya Okorafor (Bishop of Egbu) at the Cathedral of St. Jude Ebute Metta, Lagos.
During the service, Okoh described homosexuality and same-sex marriage as great evils and works of the devil that must neither be condoned nor allowed to exist in Nigerian society. He has previously condemned the “homosexual lifestyle”, describing it as “the way of death.”
The Nigerian Anglican church supports the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill, which is currently before parliament. It proposes some of the harshest anti-gay laws in the world.
According to The Guardian newspaper of Nigeria, Okoh told the assembled Sunday congregation:
“You are already aware of the evil wind blowing across the Western world, by way of the homosexual agenda. They want to push it down everybody’s throat. Whether you like it or not, the government is doing so and the church is doing so. And as far as they are concerned, it is a matter of human right. But God’s right is not discussed. I want to say that you have a responsibility to this church, not to allow any influence from any quarters to corrupt our church,” the Primate said.
“The Biblical understanding of marriage will continue to be the basis of our teaching; we will not change that position. So, no matter what they tell you, no matter where you go and who your friend is, please, resist the Devil and all his works, and he will flee from you.
“I want to encourage our clergy, particularly those of you who have attachment with the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe and America, don’t bring that influence in here. It is the responsibility of your Bishops to know where you go, who you relate with, and the influence around you. It may not be helpful to you to align with those people,” he said.

MEET JUDGE PAMELA CHEN: The U.S. Senate on Monday evening made history when it confirmed the first openly gay Asian-American for a seat on the federal bench.

Judge Pamela Chen was confirmed to the bench on Monday by a voice vote in the Senate. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

By a voice vote, the Senate confirmed Pamela Ki Mai Chen, a lesbian, for a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. President Obama first nominated her a judgeship in August and renamed her along with others at the start of the 113th Congress.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, who recommended the nomination to Obama, praised the Senate for confirming Chen in a statement and said her background will serve her well on the federal bench.
“Ms. Chen’s wealth of experience and devotion to public service make it clear that she will be an excellent judge,” Schumer said. “Ms. Chen has proven time and again that she is a leader and a pioneer in the legal field. I have every confidence that she will serve her jurisdiction well.”
Shin Inouye, a White House spokesperson, echoed that sentiment over the confirmation of Obama’s judicial nominee.
“The President welcomes the confirmation of Pamela Ki Mai Chen,” Inouye said. “She will serve the American people well from the Eastern District of New York bench.”  there is more:

Mar 3, 2013

DANCING WITH THE SAINTS: Patronales are celebrated in villages throughout Guatemala

These small wooden replicas of REAL LIFE dancers, wearing colorful wooden masks and strikingly colorful costumes, are a traditional part of  patronales celebrations in Guatemalan villages throughout the campo (wood dolls courtesy of Casa de los Gigantes, Antigua)  
The patronales celebrations honor the patron saint of the village.  He or she saint is  paraded about  joyously (and often the people carrying the saint pay to lift and walk with the ¨onda´ platform  on their shoulders)  and live music is played all-day-into-night.  

The masked folk dancers (usually men) dance continously in conga-like lines and weave themselves throughout the crowd as well as perform specific cermemonial dances in the town square.

Always fire crackers are heard throughout the day of the patronal celebration and always there are  colorful fuegos artificiales lighting the sky in the evening (the wealthier the village the more fire works displayed).
Village church interiors are most often lavishly decorated with flowers, banners, streamers and worshippers light candles and  pray on their  knees on the raw/rough tile floors.