We had an exciting first day in Guatemala City! This morning we had the great honor of meeting with the Cultural Attaché for the United States Embassy in Guatemala. We shared ideas about furthering cultural exchanges between the United States and Guatemala and the importance of music as a mechanism for advancing culture, education and English literacy. We were surprised to learn that, in addition to traditional music, Guatemalans love to listen to jazz!
Following our meeting we visited the Museo Ixchel Del Traje Indigena, where we learned more about Mayan arts, dress and culture. We were especially impressed with the beautiful and colorful designs characteristic of traditional Mayan weavings.
This evening we rehearsed with the Gaudia Cantorum, a local marimba ensemble, in preparation for tomorrow evening’s concert at IGA, the Instituto Guatemalteco Americano. Gaudia Cantorum members, with whom we will collaborate tomorrow, were so pleased with Paco’s wonderful arrangement of “America the Beautiful” that they invited us to perform the piece with them tonight, at a concert dedicated to their founder, monseñor Flores. The impromptu performance was truly unforgettable!