October 7, 2008

Holidays in Colombia

It has been interesting to learn about the holidays in Cartagena. Our students do not have school this week because of a mandate from the Colombian government that no schools are in session! Apparently the reason is to give students and families an opportunity to travel to and learn about other parts of the their country. We do have three days of inservices for the teachers, but then we get a five day weekend - no meetings on Thursday and Friday, and some other sort of holiday on Monday. Jim and I will be spending our long weekend in Bogota and Villa de Leyva - more on that later!

In November we have another week off when we celebrate Novembrinas, which is a "festivo" centered around the Miss Colombia pageant - no joke! The pageant is held in Cartagena each year and is a huge deal - no school, lots of tourists and parties all week long!

Last year Halloween was a prominent holiday at our school. We didn't have any classes, but the kids all came to school dressed in costumes, and we had Halloween activities all morning (even in the high school) with an early release. For Thanksgiving we didn't have school on Friday, and the parent/teacher association had a Thanksgiving dinner for the entire staff in honor of American Thanksgiving! Our Christmas vacation lasts from December 20 until January 13, which is the longest Christmas break that I've ever had at any school.

There are several other religious holidays that conveniently fall on (or are celebrated on) Mondays, so it is not unusual for us to have three-day weekends throughout the school year. Perhaps all of the days off account for the fact that the school year does not finish until the 19th of June next year, but I'm not complaining. It is nice to get the breaks along the way. It's kind of the Colombian way of life!


Terry said...

All those breaks sound great! Although, if my kiddo had that many breaks he would have a hard time getting back into the "swing" of things. Basically a lazy teenager that we have to push!

Anonymous said...


Is that you in the blue dress????

Jim and Tina Janelle said...

No, that would be me - the platinum blonde in the black dress!