At 10:30 am on Wednesday, December 24, the Ministry of Social Protection (of Health, I suppose) in Colombia, had registered 186 cases on burns from fireworks. 111 of these were children, 75 were adults, and 3 died (http://www.minproteccionsocial.gov.co/VBeContent/NewsDetail.asp?ID=18170&IDCompany=3). The sale of pólvora is outlawed, apparently. I was watching the news one morning in Manizales, and there was a story about parents who had allowed there children to set off firecrackers and such in the street unattended. The police caught them in the act, and the parents now have to do community service, along with having their faces smeared all over the news (a big deal in a small town, I imagine).
Too bad they don't do the same in San Salvador. In my post from last Christmas, you can see the sky the morning after New Year's Eve. Disgusting. And Christmas Eve is no better. I understand why people like fireworks, but to have every one set off firecrackers, bottle rockets, etc for a whole evening is just too much. Sorry, they're not for children, especially not unattended children, and even less for drunken adults. Yes, it's a tradition here, but it was in Manizales, too. They got over it. There's a to-buy-or-not-to buy article in Tuesday's La Prensa Grafica, and one about what our lungs would ask for for Christmas (we know it's not cuetes for sure). I myself will be hiding inside someplace, wishing the sky were gray because of snow and not pollution from pólvora (can you imagine how many firecrackers and snakes one would have to set off to make the sky still gray the next morning??).