About the Author: Jessica Dunckel serves in the Public Affairs Section of U.S. Embassy Guatemala City in Guatemala.
The U.S. Embassy in Guatemala held its annual Independence Day celebration at U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala Stephen G. McFarland's residence in Guatemala City on July 2, 2010. More than 700 guests enjoyed an afternoon of traditional American food and music. The Embassy Marine Security Guard detachment presented the colors, while the Guatemala City Municipal Chorus performed the U.S. and Guatemalan national anthems.
Ambassador McFarland then gave a stirring speech on the importance of democratic principles and a free press in a nation's development, drawing parallels with the United States. He highlighted strong U.S. initiatives in favor of democracy and human rights, and against a culture of corruption and impunity. Ambassador McFarland also called on all sectors of society -- public and private -- to join together to help Guatemala confront the many significant challenges it faces, noting how the country came together to deal with the destruction caused by the recent natural disasters of the Pacaya volcano and tropical storm Agatha. The ceremony was brought to a close by a rousing performance of "America the Beautiful" by Dr. Felicia Wilson of USAID Guatemala.
For more information on July 4 events at U.S. Embassy Guatemala City, follow the embassy on Facebook and Twitter.Related Entry: Secretary Clinton Delivers U.S. Independence Day Message