Monday, April 6, 2009

31 Homes Damaged by Temblors

At least 31 homes of mud construction were damaged and six destroyed in a village of Villa Canales, after earthquakes shook the area around Guatemala City.

A swarm of quakes has been going on for two days and is expected to continue for another three days. The swarm has brought temblors up to magnitude 4.7 on Sunday afternoon.

Eddy Sanchez, director of the Institute of Seismology, Volcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology (INSIVUMEH), explained that most of the days activity was on the Jalpatagua fault.

At least five earthquakes caused panic among some Guatemalans. Those concerned devised plans and gathered candles, blankets, food and water in case of a more serious earthquake.

Students criticize government in traditional parade

Costumed students marched through Guatemala City in the nation's 111-year-old Parade of Ridicule, which has become, some say, more social than political.

GUATEMALA CITY -- Wearing face masks and brightly colored hoods and robes, thousands of university students carrying banners ridiculing the government paraded through this capital city's downtown district Friday, protesting Guatemala's escalating violence and leaving a trail of graffiti in their wake.

The annual Parade of Ridicule is the culmination of the Huelga de Dolores, or Strike of Sorrows, started in 1898 by students from the public University of San Carlos to protest the corrupt regime of then-dictator Manuel Estrada Cabrera.

Some lament that, after 111 years, much of the parade's political import has given way to vulgarities and a chance to drink and party in the streets. Still, parade organizers and watchers agree the huelga has become a lasting part of Guatemala's cultural heritage.

See the rest of the story in the Miami Herald.