Monday, April 25, 2011

Semana Santa

For Holy Week, my aldea got all dressed up. 

The catholic church had an arco, palm fronds, and fruit decorating its whole front.

The interior got rainbow banners.

The arcos had string lights, fruits, and exotic branches off interesting plants.

The archways were put in over the main road all around town.
Why does this one have U.S. flags on top?
Your guess is as good as mine.

Decorations went up around the home front, too.
I woke up one morning to find that Don Juan (my landlord/host grandfather) had spiffed up my water faucet.

In the pueblo nearby they had parade / processions on a daily basis (sometimes twice) in which the floats were large religious images (statues with regalia) carried on the shoulders of 20 or more people, walking along at a slow pace along the route. Every so often other people switch in to help carry. There are also alfombras (carpets) laid on the ground which are actually just artfully places sawdust and flower petals. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of those, as the rain washed them away before I made it into town this weekend.

On Thursday I had the traditional holy week breakfast with my host family -- sweet bread dipped in honey with hot chocolate to drink and fruit cooked in honey sauce. It was tasty, but a bit over the top on sweets for me that early in the day. Apparently the sweets are to commemorate Jesus' last week in Jerusalem. For Easter I went to the house of a U.S. born nun who has been living here in Guatemala for over 30 years. She invited my site mate and me over for a delicious chicken and vegetable roast/stew/something that really hit the spot. It was a quiet holiday for me, punctuated by the bombas (firecrackers that sound like a cannon) that someone kept lighting off in the center of town.


  1. How nice of Don Juan to decorate your pila! It looks like the people know how to use what is available to make the town festive.

  2. Yes, although a lot of these things are not local materials... people brought in all the fruits and branches from near the coast. Up where I am we don't have those varieties of plants.