Commemorating Peace in Guatemala
NPHG is accorded a very special honor to mark the 20th anniversary of the Peace Accord.
November 4, 2016 - Guatemala
Awed by the grandeur of the National Palace of Culture, a group of usually boisterous children sit and whisper quietly to each other. In front of them, a solid bronze monument of two giant hands contrasts with the fragility of the rose bud resting on top of them. Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos™ Guatemala has been honored with an invitation to take part in The Changing of the Rose of Peace.
This solemn ceremony commemorates the signing of the Peace Accord on December 28th 1996. The agreement ending a 36 year civil war which left between 150,000 and 200,000 Guatemalans dead or ‘disappeared’. “The signing of the peace accord exemplifies what every parent dreams of for their child: that peace triumph, that the good of the people outweigh the interest of few, and that each child can develop in an environment where they enjoy their childhood rather than tragedy, liberty instead of oppression, and opportunity rather than fear.” Says National Director of NPHG, Christopher Hoyt.
Before the ceremony, the children thanked God for the chance to represent their home, and to see the inside of the National Palace. Our Marimba group were especially grateful for the rare opportunity to play there. Chris smiles “We reflected on how one day they will walk with friends of family past the National Palace and remember the time they played at an event of this magnitude.“
This year, the 20th anniversary of the accord, coincides with the 20th anniversary of the founding of the NPH home in Guatemala. The Minister of Culture and Sports chose National Director Christopher Hoyt to change the Rose of Peace. The honor is given to people or institutions who have promoted the culture of peace in Guatemala. By awarding the distinction to NPH, the government recognizes all of the hard work done in the last two decades - giving a loving home and a second chance to hundreds and hundreds of children.
Dominica* carefully carries the new rose of peace up to the monument. Christopher Hoyt carefully replaces the old one with it, symbolically committing to uphold peace in Guatemala.
“The ceremony is not only exemplified by the Monument of Peace, but a living monument reflected in the face of the future generations, who now live in a country defined by the search of harmony among men and women.”
After the ceremony, everyone relaxed getting photos in front of the monument and officials and children and staff at the National Palace enjoyed refreshments supplied by the NPHG Family Bakery.