Peace Corps Volunteer Ashley Borree recently shared a little holiday spirit with us in these photos:
These were taken at my school’s annual Festival of Carols. Every grade performed a Christmas carol in which they sang and danced. Pictured are some of my grade 6 students. We performed ‘Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer’ so they all received red Rudolph noses. Then, of course, at the end of the show the students from all the other grades wanted red noses too. By the end of the day there was an entire school of reindeer running around!
"I was visiting Mongolian friends at Tsgaan Sar, the celebration of the lunar new year. Everyone gets dressed up in their best—and these two boys were no exception. The expressions on their faces are so clear—confidence on the face of the boy on the left and uncertainty and timidness on the face of the little boy on the right."
- Peace Corps Business Development Volunteer Judy Gates
"My family in the U.S. sent me a care package full of sugar cookies, sprinkles, and icing so I invited my friends and neighbors in Ecuador over to decorate some traditional American Christmas cookies. This photo shows my 8-year-old host niece Roxana enjoying sharing in one of my own family traditions." - Peace Corps Environment Volunteer Laurel Smith
"I arrived at site in mid December and was invited to an office Christmas Lunch. I accepted the invitation but the "lunch" was really a dinner and a huge party at a local restaurant. The night included dancing and singing by all. As I know now as typical in Macedonia - a group of musicians showed up playing various instruments and I captured this photo with the musicians and one of my colleagues at the city hall." - Peace Corps Community Development Karen Schaan
"These children attend one of the few government-run centers in Honduras catering to families with severe economic hardships, and children of working mothers. Just before Christmas 2010, they made these decorations to bring home and spread the holiday cheer!" - Peace Corps Youth Development Volunteer Lisa Lavezzo
I took this photo on December 19th, 2008 in Ecuador. A local boy’s mother is preparing him for the parade of the traveling child (niño viajero) through the city of Cuenca. The main parade takes place in the week before Christmas, though every surrounding parish, hamlet and even schools have their own parade of some kind. Cuenca’s is by far the largest in Ecuador, taking the better part of a day from start to finish, winding its way through the colonial cobblestone streets of the historic center. In the parades, children dress up as nativity scene figures, such as the three wise kings. There are also floats with scenes from Jesus’s life and the famous Niño Divino, a highly venerated religious figure of the baby Jesus. - Peace Corps Youth Development Volunteer Bradley Mattan
In this photo from Peace Corps Education Volunteer Alyssa Gaalema, family members pay homage to their departed loved ones with candles, singing and prayer on All Saints Night at the Grenada National Cemetery in St. Georges, the capital. Candlelight flowed down the hillside in a peaceful, incandescent glow.
"Rural villagers in Tanzania had never heard of the American holiday called Halloween. Also they had never seen this type of pumpkin before. I gave my friend some seeds and after some weeks, she proudly brought a home grown pumpkin to my house. I showed her how we carve jack-o-lanterns, roast the seeds, and bake pumpkin bread. She kept a few of the seeds to share with others and to plant again the following year; and for many years after that." - Peace Corps Environment Volunteer Heath Roy
I took this photo on July 20th, 2008, in Concepcion del Sur, Santa Barbara, Honduras. This date marks the Dia de Lempira in Honduras, when the nation celebrates their cultural history and honors Chief Lempira, a Lencan warrior who unified hundreds of Honduran tribes in opposition against the Spanish conquerors. Many towns celebrate by holding a Day of Culture, where traditional food and dance are on display. This picture depicts a competition where school children used materials of local significance to make elaborate costumes. This girl is wearing naturally dyed corn husk jewelry, and carries a basket of a local variety of banana.