One of 15 bands from throughout the 18 Adventist schools in El Salvador performs during an annual Bands of Peace Festival highlighting Christian values and promoting environmental awareness. The festival was held at the Cojutepeque ‘s Municipal Mayoral Sports Court in the city of Cojutepeque northeast of San Salvador the capital on Oct. 1, 2023 [Photo: Paracentral El Salvador Conference]

Inter-America

Adventist Band Festival Promotes Christian Values and Environmental Awareness in El Salvador

Hundreds of students join together to worship God and share their faith with others

El Salvador | Samuel Díaz and Inter-American Division News Staff

Nearly 1,000 students from throughout 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 the 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.”

Students representing their school hold banners as they march in front of their band through the streets of Cojutepeque, in El Salvador. [Photo: Paracentral El Salvador Conference]

Students representing their school hold banners as they march in front of their band through the streets of Cojutepeque, in El Salvador. [Photo: Paracentral El Salvador Conference]

“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, promote camaraderie among Adventist schools, and ensure Christian values and health principles are promoted as well,” said Francisco Diaz, Education director for 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 mayor’s office, students met at a sports center to perform.

Francisco Diaz, education director of the Paracentral El Salvador Conference, speaks during the band festival last month. [Photo: Paracentral El Salvador Conference]

Francisco Diaz, education director of the Paracentral El Salvador Conference, speaks during the band festival last month. [Photo: Paracentral El Salvador Conference]

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

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

Each participating in school band played during the festival where parents students, church leaders and government leaders attended. [Photo: Paracentral El Salvador Conference]

Each participating in school band played during the festival where parents students, church leaders and government leaders attended. [Photo: Paracentral El Salvador Conference]

“This Peace Band Festival is an important showcase for the Adventist Church to make itself known in the community and a means of testifying about Christian principles,” said Secia de Aguillón, Education director for the El Salvador Union. 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.

For over a year, the students have been preparing to take part in the annual six-hour festival, said Diaz. Before 2011, similar events were held but were more of a competition in search of the 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, he added.

As a band plays, gymnasts perform a number in front of hundreds in Cojutepeque, EL Salvador.  [Photo: Paracentral El Salvador Conference]

As a band plays, gymnasts perform a number in front of hundreds in Cojutepeque, EL Salvador. [Photo: Paracentral El Salvador Conference]

“The success of this Peace Band 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,” Díaz said.

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

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