The first week of November is an important week for our school, Teodoro Gomez de la Torre.  It is the anniversary of the founding of our school, now 134 years ago, by two benevolent citizens 
of Ibarra, Teodoro Gomez and Mariano Acosta.  
To honor this occasion, all classes stopped for 4 days of festivities.  It was quite a week! 
Day 1: 
5:00 am – The high school band paraded through the streets of the city waking up the neighbors to announce this important week in our history.
7:30 am – The honorary flag bearers, the cheerleaders and the band arrived at our school, and were greeted by cheers from the entire student body.  Several speeches, a performance by the first graders and a mariachi band marked the occasion.
Then, the English department had some of our most exceptional English speaking students give a 
re-enactment of the story of our school’s foundation.

After this, everyone went home.

Day 2:
Although few official classes occurred, I saw several presentations by outside agencies.  For example, the police came to give students an anti-drug presentation.

Day 3:
Sports Day!  All students competed in different running races at two different parks or stadiums around town.  Remember, there’s over 4,800 students to accomodate in our school.  I don’t have any pictures of this because I had expected to run!

Day 4:
7:30 am – Foundation Day Parade and Solemn Ceremony

The administrations, staff, band and the seniors participated in a solemn parade and ceremony to honor our founders.  Students carrying the school’s insignia designed in flowers and the school flags led the parade throughout the streets of Ibarra. 
Next came the drum corps.
The students were dressed in their formal uniforms.
I see many of my Senior Boys in this picture.
They are watching me while trying not to get out of step. 
Next came the administration and all the teachers walking formally in designated lines.
Finally, our flag bearers. 
We paraded through the center of town and around the Obelisk. 
This is the main Pan-American Highway that goes right through the center of Ibarra.  If you didn’t know, the Pan-American Highway is an almost contiguous highway that stretches from North America to the southern tip of South America linking all the Pacific coastal countries.  As you can see, we stopped traffic on this highway for a little while. 
Finally, at the Laguna Mall, we reached our destination.  There, in front of the Pizza Hut, is a bust of Marino Acosto, one of our school’s founding fathers. 

To pay him tribute, we listened to speeches, a retelling of the story of our foundation, and then we sang the school song.  After that, we continued our parade down the Pan-American Highway.

A little further down the street is a bust of Teodoro Gomez.  Here, students gave passionate speeches and musical performances; all to give thanks to this great visionary.

After the procession, all teachers and seniors were invited to return to a large concert hall in the city for an award ceremony.  Students received awards for academic and athletic accomplishments.  Teachers received plaques for 25 years of service or retirement.  There was musical performances and lots of speeches.

After the ceremony, teachers were then invited to a large banquet center for a luncheon feast, complete with dancing and Red Label Whiskey.  I’m not kidding.  After the lunch, the tables were cleared, and literally upended so that there’d be more room to dance and drink the afternoon away.  Ecuadorian teachers really know how to have fun!

Below, I’ve posted two different videos of the singing of the school song and chant during the solemn ceremony.  If you do not see them below, you will need to go to to get the full effect.  The second video shows the school chant that embodies the patriotism for our school.  With this chant, students are honoring el Patrón, Teodoro Gomez, as our boss or master.  “Patrón” is also the beloved nickname for our school, as the student body considers themselves the best, or master over all others.  School pride and competitiveness is very important in Ecuador and it is especially exemplified at the high-school level.  After 4 days of history and festivities, I certainly felt a little pride in being a “Teodorista” myself.