The Land of the Eternal Spring

flor de noche buena

This photo of a flor de pascua plant (Poinsettias) was taken in my garden, next to the driveway. I did not plant it, nor I have done anything to maintain it. We could just summarize the situation of the plant as this: An “undocumented alien” in my garden, which is very welcomed. Poinsettias bloom from October through February in this part of the world.

Some say it was Guatemala that gave the Flor de Pascua to the world, but others say it originated in Mexico, where it was named after U.S. Ambassador Joel Roberts Poinsett, who took it to the U.S. in the early 19th century. —Quoted from an article by Joy Houston in the December 2005 edition, page 16 of Revue Magazine (available as a PDF download).

So there you have it, flor de noche buena is another item that creates controversy about its origins and that is the reason I prefer the term Mesoamerica, which roughly extends from Tropic of Cancer in central Mexico down through Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and northern Costa Rica (click on Mesoamerica link to view a map of the area). This way we can obviate all the polemic assumptions of using modern political borders to an area that was historically and culturally divided differently in the past.

Nothing should create more controversy than the title of this post, which is the slogan for Guatemala, the land of the eternal spring. Why? Well, let’s see, the slogan refers to the fact that in Guatemala flowers are always blooming and flowers normally blossom in the Spring season; so far so good. The only problem here is that Guatemala does not have a spring season. Guatemala is the northern hemisphere, regardless of what our friends to the north of the Rí­o Bravo may think, and therefore should have a spring season that starts in March 21st, a summer the starts on June 21, an autumn that begins on September 21st, and a winter commencing on December 21st. But Guatemala is also in the tropics and all seasons get blur here. So, Guatemala only has two seasons: summer and winter. Now to add to the confusion, many Guatemalans call the rainy season invierno (winter), even though the rain falls in the summer months, they call the dry season verano (summer), which begins at the end of October and ends in April; clearly these months belong to the autunm, winter and spring seasons. Have I confused you yet?

I wonder who came up with this slogan, can anybody help here?

© 2006 – 2017, Rudy Giron. All rights reserved.

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