“So, how do North Americans celebrate the 4th of July in Arica?” This question was asked to us by the newspaper reporters pictured here. At any given time, there are several Americans in Arica. There are 3 main areas that they associate with: 1) Mormons. Everyone here is familiar with the American mormon missionary. However, they are only here for a few weeks, and are not a family. 2) College Students. The university here has a foreign exchange program where students from America come and study here. Again, they are only here for a limited time, and are not a family. 3) Working Families. This is what the reporters wanted to get a glimpse of. They wanted to see how a real American family, that has been in the country for some time, celebrates the 4th of July.
We are not sure how everyone in the States celebrates, but we do know what we do. We told the reporters that our custom is to get together with other Americans in the area, play patriotic music, and Bar-B-Que hamburgers and hot dogs. If there is enough of us, we try to play some games. Basically, the day is spent enjoying the 4 ‘F’s – Friends, Food, Fun, & Freedom.
As a result of that conversation, our pictures and story ended up in the local newspaper. You can see pictures and read about it (in Spanish) using the links below. Please pray for them that they will be open to the Gospel. I am trying to get back in touch with them to get a chance to witness.