Things That Matter

Family Members Are Still Desperately Searching For Loved Ones Missing Since The Guatemalan Volcano Eruption Last Year

On June 3, 2018, the Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupted three years after it showed signs of activity. The people that live in the neighboring village always understood that active volcano could erupt. Records of activity date back to the 1500s, and while there had been evacuations in the past, no one had ever died until last year.

A year since the eruption of Fuego in Guatemala, the total number of people dead is 201, yet 229 people remain missing.

Facebook/@rescateantigua

On the anniversary of the eruption, family and friends continue to mourn their loved ones, even though their remains have never been found.

“I do not even have anywhere to go to lay down a bouquet of flowers,” Norma Ascon told Al Jazeera. “It hurts.” Ascon lost two teenage children last year, and their bodies remain buried.

According to the Al Jazeera, Ascon “lost 33 relatives that day, but only the remains of 22 were found. Her two children, father, grandfather, a sister, and six other relatives are still missing.”

A group called Antigua Al Rescate has taken it upon themselves to help the community near the volcano by searching for missing people.

Facebook/@rescateantigua

“A year later, we are not the same people who left each morning at Ground Zero in search of the remains of missing community members, unaware of what the day was bringing,” they said on Facebook. “One year later, each of those who got involved in one way or another, has reconciled their experience with his life. No one (including firefighters, rescuers, volunteers and everyone who got involved without asking for anything in return) can be the same after having witnessed so much pain and despair. We have all found in the survivors the inspiration and the example to not let us overcome and resurface: together with them, we became resilient. The members of the community are not the same and, for good, they have managed to resist and lead their own cause in search of dignity and justice – something magical and hopeful.”

According to media reports, 2,000 people remain in shelters. The U.S. Congress also allocated $650,400 in the 2019 budget to go towards searching for the missing people.

READ: 11 Of The Deadliest Natural Disasters In Latin America

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Apple Named The Top App Of 2020 And It Was Developed By Two Guatemalans

Things That Matter

Apple Named The Top App Of 2020 And It Was Developed By Two Guatemalans

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The winner of this year’s iPhone App of the Year by Apple went to Wakeout. The app is a workout app created by two Guatemalan developers and has grown in popularity since it was first released.

Pedro Wunderlich and Andrés Canella are the minds behind Apple’s top app of 2020.

Every year, Apple picks an app to be celebrated as the best app of the year. This year, Wakeout, the brainchild of two men in Guatemala, took home the coveted prize. It is a fun app, especially in the time of Covid and self-isolation.

The app is designed to motivate people to wake up and move to start their day on an active note. This lowers the user’s stress level throughout the day giving them a more successful day.

Apple focused on the apps that helped the world connect and stay healthy this year.

This years was a wild ride for everyone around the world. We had to find new ways to stay active, stay connected, and stay happy while the world stood still. Wakeout was the top app to make sure that people stayed active and motivated during these days.

The two men behind the app were clearly very excited to be the best of the year. The two of them sent tweets back and forth congratulating each other in surprise over the honor.

Tbh, seeing the two shower each other with love and praise is so sweet to see.

It is nice to see the two celebrate each other and give each other so much recognition. It was a team effort and these two are unapologetically showing the world what it looks like to be true team players.

Wakeout has become a valuable part of thousands of people’s mornings. The app gets people moving in ways that can be done anywhere. It is so important to have tools like this when your world is on pause. Being physically active is important for so many reasons.

We can’t wait to see what the duo comes up with next.

Clearly, if they are able to make something so successful during this wild imagine what they can do in normal times.

READ: Many Native Languages Are Dying Off But Here’s How Indigenous Millennials Are Using Tech To Save Them

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Here Are Some Christmas Traditions From Around Latin America

Culture

Here Are Some Christmas Traditions From Around Latin America

Henry Sadura / Getty Images

Christmas is a special time of year. Families have their traditions to mark the festive year and some of those traditions are rooted in culture. Here are some of the ways various countries in Latin America celebrate Christmas.

El Pase Del Niño Viajero – Ecuador

El Pase del Niño Viajero is a pageant that happens in Ecuador that lasts weeks. The parade is meant to represent the journey of Mary and Joseph. The parade highlights the religious importance of Christmas in Ecuador and is most common in the Andean region of the country.

The biggest and most important parade is in Cuenca, a deeply religious city. Citizens near the city have all day to see the parade as it starts in the early morning and runs through the late afternoon. This gives people a lot of time to make it to the city to witness the parade.

La Gritería – Nicaragua

La Gritería comes after La Purisma. La Purisma is celebrated at the end of November and is meant to celebrate the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. La Gritería is celebrated in early December and involves literal yelling. Someone would shout “Que causa tanta alegria?” (“What causes so much happiness?”) People respond “La Concepción de María.” (“Mary’s Conception.”)

Las Posadas – Mexico

Mexican posadas are the most recognizable. Posadas take place in Mexico from Dec. 16-24, though this year they are most likely to be virtual. The posada begins with a procession in the neighborhood filled with people singing and sometimes led by two people dressed as Mary and Joseph.

Another part is the posada party. Before guests can enter, there is a song exchange with the people outside playing Joseph looking for shelter. The hosts sing the side of the innkeeper saying there is no room. Eventually, the guests are welcomed into the home to celebrate Christmas.

Aguinaldos – Colombia

Aguinaldos are a series of games played by people in Colombia leading up to Christmas. There are certain games that are common among people in Colombia. One is pajita en boca, which requires holding a straw in your mouth the entire time of a social event. Another is dar y no recibir, which is about getting people to take something you are giving to score a point.

El Quema Del Diablo – Guatemala

El quema del diablo is celebrated in early December and is a way of letting go of the previous year. People burn piñatas and effigies of the devil to let go of all negative feelings and moments from the previous year. If there was every to try a new tradition, this would be the year. Burn an effigy and banish 2020 to the past, where it belongs.

READ: These Seriously Sad Christmas Presents Were Worse Than Actual Coal

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