Loading Map...

Semana Santa y Pasqua (easter festivities)

Written on: Tuesday April 14th, 2009

A journal entry from: Guatemala, mi amor.

So,apparently when Guatemalans do Easter, they really do easter.  They have giant wooden statues that people carry on their shoulders through the streets and walk over carpets made of grass, wood shavings, dye and sometimes vegetables.  It's a great ordeal for each family to make the 'alfombra' (carpet) and is often an object of pride.  My family made two and were so proud of it.  Too bad for me, I missed seeing it as the parade passed at 5 am and I've become skilled in the snooze button hitting department.  To make one of the alfombras, people are often up all night completing it.  I recommend people google 'Semana Santa Antigua' and look at pictures through that.  Semana Santa is a religious time and a time for people to repent for their sins; however, it's also a popular time for thieves so I actually did not take any pictures of the event as I never left home with my camera.  Particularly since there are already so many pictures online, I figured you guys could look at what is already out there.  Anyway, the most popular days are Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  Sunday is mostly a day for masses and church services, so I enjoyed walking around with my classmates watching some of the processions.  I also was lucky enough to spend time with my roommates who actually knew quite a bit about the bible and about the symbolism of Easter so they could explain what different things represented.  All in all, it was a really nice time to be in Antigua and I felt very lucky to have experienced it all! I do recommend coming to Semana Santa here and experiencing the wildness and wonderfulness of it all... just make sure you book months and months ahead of time (Januaryish).

 Aside from my quick note about Semana Santa, I don't have much else to report.  I wrote a final this morning and will be writing again on Thursday (oh yes, little reminders that we are actually still in school).   The one this morning went really well and I'm sure the one on Thursday will be just fine as well.  Friday my friends and I leave for Semuc Champey, and then we will arrive back in Antigua on Monday night only to leave for Honduras on Tuesday morning at 4am.  It is hard to believe that I will be finished here.  I will miss my family here and have really enjoyed being here - to the point where I haven't wanted to leave!  I'm looking forward to Nicaragua and having the opportunity to learn more about community health and issues in Nicaragua.  Before going to Nicaragua, I'm going to be in Honduras for about 12 days where I'll be laying on the beach, snorkeling or looking at Mayan ruins.  I know, life is hard.  Trust me, I do recognize how lucky I am to be doing this!  I hope you all are surviving finals, work and the craziness of life!  Take care of yourselves and I'll post blogs when I can.  It's likely that I won't until I arrive in Nicaragua - assuming all my worldly belongings hadn't gotten lost/stolen in transition.  

Take care!