Guatemala Revolution Day

Guatemala Revolution Day

October 20
Like another national holiday, Guatemala Army Day, this holiday commemorates a historic transfer of Guatemalan power. On October 20, 1944, university students and military leaders aligned to overthrow the dictator Jorge Ubico. Guatemalans fondly remember the replacement government and its executive leader, Juan JosÉ ArÉvalo, who implemented a series of successful labor and agrarian reforms. ArÉvalo's presidency and that of his successor, Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán, marked a period of political freedom known as 10 Years of Spring.
Music and fireworks mark the day's lively celebrations, the grandest of which are held in the Plaza Mayor in Guatemala City. It is also common on this day for activists to exercise their free speech, a human right that ArÉvalo championed, and to stage political demonstrations. Some protests draw thousands of people and extend into the next day.
CONTACTS:
Embassy Guatemala
2220 R St. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
202-745-4952; fax: 202-745-1908
www.guatemala-embassy.org