Band Festival Promotes Christian Values, Environmental Awareness

Nearly 1,000 students from Adventist schools in El Salvador participate.

Samuel Díaz and Inter-American Division News Staff
Band Festival Promotes Christian Values, Environmental Awareness
One of 15 bands from the 18 Adventist schools participating in the annual peace band festival performs on October 1 in Cojutepeque, El Salvador. [Photo: Paracentral El Salvador Conference]

Nearly 1,000 students from Seventh-day Adventist schools in El Salvador took part in promoting Christian music, spiritual values, and environmental awareness during a band festival event held recently in Cojutepeque. Members of 15 bands representing their schools marched and played through the streets while fellow students carried banners and signs and distributed literature to onlookers and businesses.

This annual event, which has been a tradition since 2011, drew hundreds of students and their parents. This year’s festival was themed “Armed with Christian values and the environment.”

“We wanted students to glorify the name of God through their instruments, highlight the importance of taking care of the environment, and take part in distributing literature, promoting camaraderie among Adventist schools, and ensure Christian values and health principles are promoted as well,” said Francisco Diaz, education director of the Paracentral El Salvador Conference and main organizer of the festival.

Eighteen of the Adventist schools in the country participated in this year’s festival, with 15 schools represented by their “peace bands,” as they are called. After marching 12 blocks through the streets, past Cojutepeque’s mayoral office, students met at a sports center to perform.

“We had 465 musicians and 552 students participating in choreography and gymnastics presentations,” Diaz said. Each band had 10 minutes to play pieces they had prepared, and gymnasts performed for a group of churches, municipal leaders, and friends.

Cojutepeque mayor Marvin David Romero thanked organizers and participants and praised Christian young people for their important role in bettering the community and the country.

Secia Aguillón, education director in the El Salvador Union, said the peace band festival was “an important showcase for the Adventist Church to make itself known in the community and a means of testifying about Christian principles.” Aguillón complimented students for their dedication and participation in this year’s annual event. The event also highlighted the church’s high-quality education and the teamwork displayed at all the levels of the Adventist educational system, she said.

For more than a year, students have been preparing to take part in the annual six-hour festival, Diaz said. Before 2011, similar events were held as competitions for the title of best peace band among Adventist schools in El Salvador. This year’s event was more of an opportunity to showcase the values and principles taught in the schools, Diaz said.

“The success of this Peace Bands Festival in Cojutepeque shows that music and faith can unite to grow in an ambiance of happiness, unity, and spirituality, serving as a light in challenging times,” Diaz said.

The original version of this story was posted on the Inter-American Division news site.

Samuel Díaz and Inter-American Division News Staff