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After two flights, including a stop at LA International and a red-eye flight to Guatemala, BYU's Living Legends arrived in Guatemala City to begin its spring tour of Central America.
The highlight of the week was the cultural exchange in the small Mayan town of Nahuala. At this exchange, the local people performed many traditional Guatemalan and Mayan dances. They covered the floor with fresh-cut pine needles out of respect for Living Legends and the sacred exchange. After the locals performed, Living Legends performed for them and greeted a crowd of about 800 people.
In Guatemala City the group had the opportunity to perform three times at the National Theater. Each performance had a great turnout. A highlight in the city was the Sunday night fireside with more than 1,000 attendees — all young single adults.
The group stayed only one night in Antigua and had the opportunity to see many of the tourist attractions in this ancient city, including the Jade Museum and the Catholic Cathedral of San Francisco.
The next day, on the way to Quetzaltenango, the group stopped at the ancient city of Iximche. This city features ancient ruins of indigenous temples, altars and ball courts. The students enjoyed taking pictures, learning about the history, and getting a personal tour of the site.
A few of the students spent time playing with the local children at the ruins on the ancient ball courts. The group then made a stop at the famous Lake Atitlan. Here the group had a chance to buy souvenirs and take pictures at the lake.
The group finally arrived in Quetzaltenango later that afternoon, making their way to the stake center for their first fireside of the tour. Many of the members attended and even an Area Seventy for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints attended. After the fireside the students enjoyed a wonderful meal prepared by the members of the stake.
The following day the group was privileged to get a personal tour of the Quetzaltenango Temple of the Church. The temple president allowed them to enter the first floor to see the beautiful woodwork and tile which had an ancient Mayan feel about it. While inside, the president thanked the group for coming to his country and then stated that the work they were doing would lead to baptisms and to sealings.
After lunch the group traveled to their concert venue, the Municipal Theater. Built in the late 1800s, the sheer beauty of the building astonished the ensemble.
The first show of the tour was a rousing success. People lined up hours before the show to get a seat. Fortunately every seat was taken and there were people standing so that they could be a part of the experience.
While in Quetzaltenango, they also had the chance to perform for the children of FUNDAL who are all deaf and blind. They were thankful to serve FUNDAL and to interact with their children. The spirit was very strong and it was very evident that BYU and the Church made a great impact on the children and administration of FUNDAL.