In Dance Groups, Department of Dance, Living Legends

For many of the students in the group, the Central America Tour seemed so far away. After many hours of practice and regional shows, the moment everyone had been waiting for had now come. As usual, Living Legends started their tour off by meeting at the Richards Building. After weighing everyone’s bags to make sure they met the 22-pound requirement they loaded the bus headed for the SLC Airport. Once at the airport the group began to check-in all the costumes, props and tech equipment at Delta Airlines. Thanks to John Shurtleff’s years of experience and his tech crew, check-in was quick and well organized. After two flights, a stop at LAX, and a red-eye flight to Guatemala, the group had finally arrived.

Once through Customs in Guatemala City, the group loaded the bus and truck and made their way to their first stop in Antigua. The group stayed only one night in Antigua and had the opportunity to see many of the tourist attractions in this ancient city. In Antigua the group visited the Jade Museum, the Catholic Cathedral of San Francisco, and walked the streets. 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, eat lunch, and take pictures at the lake.

The group finally arrived in Quetzaltenango later that afternoon. After unpacking they made their way to the stake center for their first fireside of the tour. Many of the members attended and even an area seventy attended. After the fireside we 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. The president of the temple allowed them to enter the first floor to see the beautiful wood work and tile which had an ancient Mayan feel about it. While inside, the Temple 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. The spirit was truly felt, and the students left the temple with a better understanding of their work on this tour.

After lunch the group traveled to the venue, the Municipal Theater. Built in the late 1800’s, the group was astonished by the sheer beauty of the building. The first show of the tour was a 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. In this city 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.

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, the 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. There were more than 1,000 attendees—all young single adults.

For more information regarding BYU performing groups, visit pam.byu.edu. To book a performance, contact Performing Arts Management at (801) 422-3576 or perform@byu.edu.

A local guide explains 16th century colonial ruins in Antigua, Guatemala, to members of the Living Legends.

A local guide explains 16th century colonial ruins in Antigua, Guatemala, to members of the Living Legends.

Living Legends visit the Quetzaltenango Temple.

Living Legends visit the Quetzaltenango Temple.

Living Legends performer Keoki Leong and children at the Nahuala Cultural Exchange show off their muscles and share a good laugh.

Living Legends performer Keoki Leong and children at the Nahuala Cultural Exchange show off their muscles and share a good laugh.

Performer Chris Ah Sue leads a young boy around an outdoor courtyard at the FUNDAL center for blind and deaf children.

Performer Chris Ah Sue leads a young boy around an outdoor courtyard at the FUNDAL center for blind and deaf children.

After a show in a small Mayan town at the Nahuala Cultural Exchange, the performers were able to spend time greeting and talking with the audience of 800.

After a show in a small Mayan town at the Nahuala Cultural Exchange, the performers were able to spend time greeting and talking with the audience of 800.

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