Waterfall fireworks in the main square.

In Antigua, Guatemala, July 25th is the holiday called St. James Day. The tradition comes from colonial times, as apostle St. James was the patron saint of the conquistadors that settled the area for Spain. It is a grand holiday, with free activities across the city. I missed the morning events because I was checking off another bucket list item, getting a tattoo in a foreign country. While I was at the studio there was a huge parade along the main road that lasted over three hours. After my appointment, I headed back to Casa Herrera for a special St. James lunch, shared with the University of Texas students that are here for a separate study abroad program. After lunch, we worked on our group projects and stopped for a quick bite at Antigua Brewing Company. After dinner at Casa, we headed back to the main square for a free concert. There were thousands of people in attendance, and I got to see three different bands. We were able to secure a spot in the crowd close to the stage. We didn’t realize we were also front row to the fireworks! One of the other students on the trip who spoke Spanish immediately started running the opposite way as the MC was making the announcement. We followed the crowd and stepped back, and soon fireworks were falling off the building in front of us like a waterfall! After hearing the third band play for a bit, we headed back to Casa for the night. When I was in my room getting ready for bed, I heard loud popping, and headed out to the courtyard to see what was going on. Me and two other students enjoyed a perfect view of a twenty-minute firework show coming from the square. I would love to come back to Antigua for other major holidays and see what kind of celebrations are planned!