Mayflower descendants gather in Balboa Park!

I'm welcomed to Plimoth Plantation West in Balboa Park by two descendants of Mayflower Pilgrims!
I’m welcomed to Plimoth Plantation West in Balboa Park by two descendants of Mayflower Pilgrims!

Yesterday I swung by the International Cottages in Balboa Park to check out an absolutely unique event!

The Mayflower Society’s San Diego Colony had created Plimoth Plantation West, a representation of Pilgrim history and life, focusing on the arrival of the Pilgrims in the New World and their establishment of Plymouth Colony. The colorful event was organized in anticipation of an important day that will arrive in two years: the 400th Anniversary of the Mayflower Landing in 1620.

I’m no expert when it comes to the history of the Pilgrims, so I was fascinated by many of the displays.

I learned about the Pilgrims’ various reasons for departing England, their journey across the Atlantic, the signing of the Mayflower Compact, the eventual anchoring off Cape Cod, the extreme hardships and many deaths during that first harsh winter, their friendly and not-so-friendly relations with several Native American tribes who lived in the region . . . even the sorts of games Pilgrim children enjoyed playing.

Many members of the Society of Mayflower Descendants were at the event in period costume, celebrating their ancestors and an important chapter in America’s early history. One gentleman I spoke to had descended directly from William Bradford, the governor of Plymouth Colony!

Here are a few photos of Plimoth Plantation West!

If you are one of the 31 million possible Mayflower descendants worldwide, you can join the General Society of Mayflower Descendants!
If you are one of the 31 million possible Mayflower descendants worldwide, you can join the General Society of Mayflower Descendants!
Someone points to a chart showing the original Mayflower passengers. Less than half survived and made it to the first Thanksgiving in 1621.
Someone points to a chart showing the original Mayflower passengers. Less than half survived and made it to the first Thanksgiving in 1621.
The Mayflower Compact, signed aboard ship, was the first governing document of Plymouth Colony. It specified basic laws and social rules for the new colony.
The Mayflower Compact, signed aboard ship, was the first governing document of Plymouth Colony. It specified basic laws and social rules for the new colony.
This friendly gent was dressed like William Brewster, a respected elder and leader of Plymouth Colony.
This friendly gent was dressed like religious separatist William Brewster, a respected elder and leader of Plymouth Colony.
A timeline of Pilgrim history begins with the formation of the Church of England. Puritans sought to eliminate retained Catholic practices. Separatists created secret congregations.
A timeline of Pilgrim history begins with the formation of the Church of England. Puritans sought to eliminate retained Catholic practices. Separatists created secret congregations.
One gentleman was demonstrating the use of a quill and inkwell. I learned ink was often made from berry juices, and turkey and goose feathers were primarily used for quills.
One gentleman was demonstrating the use of a quill and inkwell. I learned ink was often made from berry juices, and turkey and goose feathers were primarily used for quills.
Educational tools used by the Pilgrims included a Child's Hornbook, a form of children's primer containing the letters of the alphabet.
Educational tools used by the Pilgrims included a Child’s Hornbook, a form of children’s primer containing the letters of the alphabet.
Pilgrim children enjoyed very simple toys and games, and small crudely made dolls.
Pilgrim children enjoyed simple games and toys, like spinning tops, and small crudely made dolls.
The descendants of the Mayflower Pilgrims gather for a special event in San Diego's Balboa Park!
The descendants of the Mayflower Pilgrims gather for a special event in San Diego’s always lively Balboa Park!

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A world of peace, joy and hope.

My previous blog post seeped with terrible darkness. It showed us a human world that contains brutality, selfishness and despair.

But you know, if we chose, our world could look like this:

During my walk through Balboa Park today, I paused among the International Cottages to experience the peace, joy and hope that are possible when different people with different experiences simply love life and come unselfishly together.

Members of the House of Czech and Slovak Republics, with their smiles, dance and music set a wonderful example for us all to follow.

The choice is ours to make.

Art, Color and Fiesta in Balboa Park!

The San Diego School of Ballet performs during Arte, Color y Fiesta, a special event in Balboa Park celebrating Mexican Independence Day.
The San Diego School of Ballet performs during Arte, Color y Fiesta, a special event in Balboa Park celebrating Mexican Independence Day.

This evening I enjoyed a special event at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park. The House of Mexico presented Arte, Color y Fiesta, a cultural program rich with dance, music and patriotism celebrating Mexican Independence Day.

I successfully photographed the first few groups that provided entertainment before daylight waned. Many smiles shined into the evening.

To learn more about the House of Mexico, and perhaps become a member, or provide a donation as they prepare to build their new cottage among the existing House of Pacific Relations International Cottages, visit their website here!

The colorful program at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion was presented by the House of Mexico, member of the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages.
The colorful program at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion was presented by the House of Mexico, member of the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages in Balboa Park.
A poster on display during the event showed construction plans for the House of Mexico's cottage in Balboa Park.
A poster on display during the event showed construction plans for the House of Mexico’s new cottage in Balboa Park.
Los Chinelos De Morelos dance in Balboa Park. The traditional dance of the State of Morelos, Mexico includes Carnival-like costumes and masks.
Los Chinelos Unidos por Siempre de San Diego dance in Balboa Park. The traditional dance of the State of Morelos, Mexico includes fantastic Carnival-like costumes and masks.
During the program, a color guard advanced the Mexican flag to the stage, and the traditional Grito Mexicano was shouted. Viva México!
During the program, a color guard advanced the Mexican flag to the stage, and the traditional Grito Mexicano was shouted. Viva México!
Mariachi Juvenil de San Diego perform during an event that celebrates Mexico's independence from Spain.
Mariachi Juvenil de San Diego, a musical group composed of local high school students, perform during an event that celebrates Mexico’s independence from Spain.
Meanwhile, in the nearby Plaza de Panama, the Flavor Company dance group had people dancing the Conga for Balboa Park's Food Truck Friday.
Meanwhile, in the nearby Plaza de Panama, the Flavor Company dance group had people dancing the Conga for Balboa Park’s Food Truck Friday.
Life, color and joy thrive in San Diego at Balboa Park's Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
Life, color and joy thrive in San Diego’s amazing Balboa Park.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Help the House of Mexico build their cottage!

The House of Mexico had a table in the Plaza de Panama during the 2018 Cinco de Mayo celebration.
The House of Mexico had a fun display in the Plaza de Panama during the 2018 Cinco de Mayo celebration.

Yesterday during the Cinco de Mayo celebration in Balboa Park I walked around the Plaza de Panama checking out a variety of colorful tables. At the House of Mexico’s table, I learned how these good people are raising money to build their own casita at the International Cottages. The necessary permits have been obtained, now they just need to raise more money for the construction!

The House of Mexico has been a member of the House of Pacific Relations since 2004. Their mission is to promote the beauty, history, and culture of Mexico, San Diego’s close neighbor to the south.

If you’d like to help this cultural project, by becoming a member or perhaps by making a tax deductible donation, please visit the House of Mexico’s website!

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Culture, sunshine and life in Balboa Park.

Riding bicycles one sunny Sunday over the Cabrillo Bridge into the heart of Balboa Park.
Riding bicycles over the Cabrillo Bridge into the heart of Balboa Park.

Here are some photographs from my Sunday walk through Balboa Park. I enjoyed plenty of culture, sunshine and life. That’s why I go there so often.

Visitors enjoy the quiet, sunlit beauty of the Alcazar Garden.
Visitors enjoy the quiet, sunlit beauty of the Alcazar Garden.
Rise Up For the Arts and Culture. Preserve Penny For the Arts. A sign in Spanish Village, where the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership and San Diego Regional Arts and Culture Coalition recently held an event.
Rise Up For the Arts and Culture. Preserve Penny For the Arts. A sign in Spanish Village, where the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership and San Diego Regional Arts and Culture Coalition recently held an event.
Lots of fun balloons on El Prado on another perfect Sunday afternoon.
Lots of fun balloons on El Prado on another perfect Sunday afternoon.
A green banner near the entrance to the Balboa Park Visitors Center anticipates St. Patrick's Day. A banner with bright flowers and a hummingbird anticipates the arrival of spring.
A green banner near the entrance to the Balboa Park Visitors Center anticipates St. Patrick’s Day. A banner with bright flowers and a hummingbird anticipates the arrival of spring.
People relax at a table under a red umbrella in the Plaza de Panama. The House of Charm rises in the background.
People relax at a table under a red umbrella in the Plaza de Panama. The House of Charm, home of the Mingei Museum, rises in the background.
Trombonist Eric Starr joins Robert Plimpton on the stage of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. They are practicing before the Sunday afternoon concert.
Trombonist Eric Starr joins Robert Plimpton on the stage of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. They are practicing before the Sunday afternoon concert.
The free concert begins. Sweet music fills the park.
The free concert begins. Sweet music fills the park.
The House of Chamorros hosted this Sunday's International Cottages lawn program.
The House of Chamorros hosted this Sunday’s International Cottages lawn program.
Many wonderful Chamorro arts and crafts displayed at the event.
Many wonderful Chamorro arts and crafts were displayed at the event.
People converge in Balboa Park to celebrate culture, sunshine and life.
People converge in Balboa Park to celebrate culture, sunshine and life.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

A fun Chinese New Year Festival in Balboa Park!

A demonstration of martial arts by members of the San Diego Wushu Center during the 2018 Chinese New Year Festival in Balboa Park.
A demonstration of martial arts by members of the San Diego Wushu Center during the 2018 Chinese New Year Festival in Balboa Park.

Today I experienced two fantastic cultural events in Balboa Park. The first was the Chinese New Year Festival hosted by the House of China at the International Cottages.

2018 is the Year of the Dog, and a huge crowd turned out to enjoy Chinese food, entertainment and a whole lot of good fun. I stayed for a while and watched talented performers dance, demonstrate Kung fu, and fling bright Yo-Yos into the sunny San Diego sky to the delight of all! It was great!

The 2018 Chinese New Year Festival continues Sunday, from 11 am to 5 pm. You really should go!

Just in case you can’t make it, I took some colorful photos…

Tents in the lawn area of the International Cottages featured food, unique crafts and many fascinating aspects of Chinese culture.
Tents in the lawn area of the International Cottages feature food, unique crafts and many fascinating aspects of Chinese culture.
Cheerful artwork and entertainment were plentiful at the 2018 Chinese New Year Festival, hosted by the House of China in Balboa Park.
Cheerful artwork and entertainment are plentiful at the 2018 Chinese New Year Festival, hosted by the House of China in Balboa Park.
Young students working with the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University dance during the program.
Young students working with the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University dance during the program.
Some traditional Chinese food being served included egg rolls, dumplings and bao--steamed buns with several different tasty fillings.
Some traditional Chinese food being served included egg rolls, dumplings and bao–steamed buns with several different tasty fillings.
I spotted one table with clever cards that open to colorful pop-up bouquets.
I spotted one table with clever cards that open to colorful pop-up bouquets.
Anyone could check the year of their birth against this Chinese horoscope. 2018 is the Year of the Dog.
Anyone could check the year of their birth against this Chinese horoscope. 2018 is the Year of the Dog.
These cool kids of the Riverview International Academy Yo-Yo Team wowed the crowd with their amazing skill.
These cool kids of the Riverview International Academy Yo-Yo Team wowed the crowd with their amazing skill.
I discovered a fascinating book about the history of the Chinese in San Diego. It's title is In Search of Gold Mountain.
I discovered a fascinating book about the history of the Chinese in San Diego. It’s title is In Search of Gold Mountain.
Some beautiful Chinese brush art and ink drawings were being displayed by friendly local artists.
Some beautiful Chinese brush art and ink drawings were being displayed by friendly local artists.
Energetic martial artists demonstrated various forms of Kung fu. Many routines seemed like precise athletic dances.
Energetic martial artists demonstrated various forms of Kung fu. Many routines seemed like precise athletic dances.
A graceful performance by members of the UCSD Chinese Dance Association.
A graceful performance by members of the UCSD Chinese Dance Association.
Many smiles and delightful surprises awaited visitors to Balboa Park during the 2018 Chinese New Year Festival.
Many smiles and delightful surprises await visitors to Balboa Park during the 2018 Chinese New Year Festival.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Support the House of Puerto Rico disaster relief effort.

Donations were collected during the House of Puerto Rico's lawn program in Balboa Park to assist with disaster relief.
Donations were collected during the House of Puerto Rico’s lawn program in Balboa Park to assist with disaster relief.

Here’s an opportunity to help the people of Puerto Rico who’ve been thrown into a terrible crisis by Hurricane Maria. The devastation brought by this natural disaster is unprecedented. Every bit of help is vitally important.

By sheer coincidence, the House of Puerto Rico had their International Cottages lawn program today in Balboa Park. A collection jar was there for donations, and proceeds from food sales went to hurricane relief.

I also learned that there’s a donation button on the House of Puerto Rico website, which you’ll find here.

Please consider providing these good people with a bit of support.

Puerto Rican food at the special event included Arroz con Gandules, Pastel de Masa and Alcapurrias.
Puerto Rican food at the special event included arroz con gandules, pastel de masa and alcapurrias.
If you missed the event, click the link I've included to visit the Hurricane Maria donation page.
If you missed the event, click the link I’ve included to visit the House of Puerto Rico website. There you will see a Hurricane Maria donation button.
Among the many displays inside the House of Puerto Rico cottage are panderetas, cencerros and other musical instruments.
Among the many displays inside the House of Puerto Rico cottage are panderetas, cencerros and other musical instruments.
Students inside the Balboa Park cottage learn about the special economic challenges of Puerto Rico, which is an unincorporated U.S. territory in the Caribbean.
Students inside the Balboa Park cottage learn about the special economic challenges of Puerto Rico, which is an unincorporated U.S. territory in the Caribbean.
Many people have loved ones in Puerto Rico. Heroic efforts are underway to help those affected by Hurricane Maria.
Many people have loved ones in Puerto Rico. Heroic efforts are underway to help those affected by Hurricane Maria.

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