P o p p i n g

New Public Works Projects

Literally popping at this time of year, fireworks displays are nearly ubiquitous during the Christmas and New Year holidays. From simple roman candles to more elaborate sky filling displays (see this month’s cover), Guatemalans love their fireworks. Of course, these seasonal displays are on the top of the normal birthday firecracker routine. No, those aren’t anything sinister you hear going off at 6am many mornings, just friends starting someone’s birthday off with a bang.

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Firework Manufacturing & Sales Regulations

While firework sales go up during the holidays so do fireworks related injuries. As you may have noticed there are no (enforced) regulations about where, to whom, or how these little canisters of gun powder can be sold. And who loves fireworks more than kids that really shouldn’t be shooting them off alone? On the manufacturing side of things, many little children are involved in the stuffing fireworks (those little fingers sure make things easier). Every year there are at least two major accidents at informal fireworks factories, with (unheeded) calls for reform after every incident.


A time honored tradition during December is to put off doing everything until January- and then in January to have far longer a list of things to do than can possibly be accomplished. So if you’re expecting to receive something in January (perhaps posters you’ve ordered for the truly different café you’re opening), well you may have a bit of a wait. On the flip side, if you’ve got a long list of tasks you promised yourself, or others, that you’d complete “just after the new year”, well perhaps things don’t seem as urgent as they did last month when you made the promise. And hey, throw a few “fijense que” this and “fiestas navidenas” that in there and you’ve just bought yourself some time. But don’t wait too long, come February those excuses won’t work so well anymore.

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