Guatemala’s Star Wars Fans (#35)

Guatemalans, like people with good taste all over the world, have their own loyal following of Star Wars or La guerra de las galaxias as it’s known in Spanish. Annually in November, the group known as Star Fans Guatemala puts on a large convention in the beautiful Hotel Santo Domingo in La Antigua, Guatemala.

A handsome rascal posing in front of a sawdust STAR FANS alfombra.

A handsome rascal posing in front of a sawdust STAR FANS alfombra.

Invited to participate last year an an exhibitor, I took the opportunity to recieve free admission and the chance to get to know Guatemala’s loyal and dedicated fanbase for the greatest science-fiction franchise ever created.

The founder of Star Fans proudly stands by his recreation of the Battle of Geonosis.

The founder of Star Fans proudly stands by his recreation of the Battle of Geonosis.

I met myriad interesting people who come mostly from Guatemala City. There were no surprises that the demographic of people able to afford such luxuries as cosplay and collecting licensed props and toys come from the country’s more affluent, yet small middle and upper classes.

A proud group of female fans that dresses up for social benefit and charity events.

A proud group of female fans that dresses up for social benefit and charity events.

Yet those participating in the event were down-to-earth, rather than spacey, people. The above womens group, Femme Stars, meets monthly to visit children in Guatemala’s hospitals and motivate groups of women to make positive change within themselves.

An impressive army of 6" troopers.

An impressive army of 6″ troopers.

I also got to see lots of cool action figures and things that I would have bought when I was a kid if I had adult income. Good thing I still don’t have that kind of disposable financial ingress.

Star Wars cosplay unites fans of all ages.

Star Wars cosplay unites fans of all ages.

But in a country so often divided by ethnicity, language, culture, politics, and social class it was refreshing to see children, young and old, come together about something so quintessentially human as Star Wars.

Guatemala's General Grevious

Guatemala’s General Grevious

Many participants, rather than buy costumes that would cost thousands of dollars from licensed retailers, opt to creatively make their own out of locally-available materials. The Grevious above is made out of repurposed cloth, cardboard, and styrofoam.

The President of the Lego Club of Guatemala and his son.

The President of the Lego Club of Guatemala and his son.

My first memories with Star Wars are curled up on the sofa in my family house with my Dad. He carefully awakened a wonder within me of that galaxy far, far away. The annual event is an opportunity for families to come together around something that inspires curiosity in their children.

A happy family from a galaxy not so far away.

A happy family from a galaxy not so far away.

 

Star Fans Guatemala puts on a wonderful event. I felt welcome as a foreigner and was immediately drawn in to a warm and communal atmosphere. As I left, I knew the Force was with me.

Goodbye Guate is a blog series celebrating my last 100 days of Peace Corps service in Guatemala. A beautiful country known as the land of the eternal spring and named as tempting the limits of the possibly picturesque, Guatemala has inspired great changes and tremendous growth within me. I hope to share with you the 100 things I will miss most about this charming and pastoral Central American country.

2 thoughts on “Guatemala’s Star Wars Fans (#35)

  1. Hello Dear, this is Abel Murga, founder of Starfans Guatemala, we apréciate your post regarding your experience on STARFANS 2014, we are ready for STARFANS 2015 this Sunday October 04th. at Hotel Camino Real Antigua

    We like to inform you about the site correction this event is placed at Hotel Camino Real Antigua in 2014 and 2015.

    Best Wishes.

    A.M.

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