Posted by: susankayjones | April 25, 2011

semana santa


if you’ve ever visited guatemala, you would agree that no one can say that this country lacks for color!

the markets are usually filled with brightly colored textiles, each representing a different region of the country.

well…semana santa added a whole other level of color to my experience here. i just LOVE experiencing new cultures…and semana santa provided some guatemalan traditions that were very eye-opening (not to mention eye-popping!)

the “celebrations” start as early as wedensday with most businesses shutting down, and in the city, most people leaving town for the beach! it was extremely quiet around guatemala city this last week, which was nice! that lasted until this morning—which was back to life as normal.

on friday, traditionally guatemalans participate in several traditions. most of these are driven by the catholic church here.

all around guatemala people were busy making “rugs” or “carpets” for the processional. A processional goes from one church into another church…and this processional is not like your typical “parade.” no. this is a very interesting event.

massive float-like things are constructed (very ornate) to depict the entire story…from Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem all the way to the resurrection. then, men line up on either side, dressed in black robes, to carry the “floats” on their shoulders. i use ” ” when saying float, because these structures are anything from light or floaty!  the music is somber and the crowd hushed.

their route is marked by giant “carpets” or “rugs” that families have designed on the ground out of….sawdust! it was so interesting and beautiful to experience! their designs were gorgeous and truly works of art. it was clearly a family affair, which i loved. you saw men, women and tons of children helping out….and they took their jobs very seriously.

the reason for the carpets is an offering tp the Lord. it is a way for a family to give back their time, treasure and talent to the Lord.

we walked around the small town of san jose pinula (which is the town near the orphanage). apparently we experienced this cultural phenomenon on a very small scale compared to other cities (like antigua and guatemala city). maybe next year i’ll brave the crowds!

here are some pictures ::



  1. that is so neat….the fact that they use their talents, time and family to focus on Easter …can’t wait to see the pictures next year! so artistic…and I love all the colors! what’s the temp there right now?

  2. Wow! This is really amazing! Happy Easter!

  3. I got to see all this when I was in Guatemala a few years ago. It is truly amazing!

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