Tuesday, April 7, 2009


After admiring the solemn egress of Jesus de la Borriquita we walked about 8 blocks to see this other procession.  One thing I have not included in the posts is the fact that each procession has a composition made for it to be played during the marching out and in of the church.

As we wait the first to make the bend around the corner is a parade of Romans, with standards and ensigns.

Along with the Romans in two lines on each side of the street come the Cucuruchos (bearers dressed in traditional purple and white or black outfits).

One of the Cucuruchos was walking in line playing a deep and sad tone in a native wooden flute.

Just before the float the incense setting the melancholic and heavenly ambiance. When you have grown around this type of traditions this smell of incense, pine, "corozo" is a blend you take with you 'forever' and when in it a again it takes you back to 'an always'.

We were standing on right side of the street two rows behind and noticed there was nobody on the other side so we crossed to take first row. When the float came we realized that we keep being on the opposite side of Jesus semblance! Next procession I will make a point to be in the right side.

History  dates Jesus Nazareno de los Milagros Rey del Universoto the 17th Century and came to Guatemala in 1781 and it is attributed to Alonzo de la Paz y Toledo. 
You can see in the picture below flowers that were thrown to the float and a dove passanger.

The cortege egresses at 7.00 and does its entrance at midnight with a total of about 120 turns, that means that with 112 men per turn bearing, it takes a total of  13,440 arms to bring back the procession to the Santuary of our Lord "Saint Joseph".

As in most procession  Jesus is followed then by Mary's cortege which often includes Saint John Evangelist and Mary Magdalene. Young boys bring Saint John and young girls Mary Magdalene.

Mary is bore by 56 women, 28 on each side for a total of  approximately 6,720 women for the whole length of the parade.

I love this picture a woman "cargando" and holding hands with her daughter walking along with her. The daughter is dressed all white which makes me thing she also has a turn to carry Mary Magdelene.

Under the float men steer and direct the marching. When it's time to stop a buzzard sounds, every so often they say one, two, three, raise! I keep thing being under this heavy floats its a job I don't want. You can estimate the weight by multiplying the number of "cargadores" (bearers) times 40-45 pounds for the men and 30-35 for the women. That would make these ones about: 4900 pounds for Jesus's and 1900 pounds for Mary's.

The processional images of Mary have a dagger on her heart symbolizing the pain suffered by the passion of her son Jesus.

In the video girls bearing Mary Magdalene.

In the next video you can hear a little boy saying Hay viene la Virgen! (There comes The Virgen). As you can see the street are crowded with spectator all along the processional route from 7.00 to midnight. The Music in the background comes from a house.


Denise said...

Cynthia, Thank you so much for sharing Semana Santa with us. Beautiful pictures. I hope to participate with our family when the children are older.

I will read a book on the processions today to members of our Spanish play group - mostly Guatemalan born. We'll also have an Easter egg hunt. :)

Enjoy your time in the Land of Eternal Spring.

Lilysmom said...

Cynthia thank you so much for sharing all things Guatemala with us! I will visit here often. I am so excited to have found you.

Dr. Samantha said...

thank you for your note on my blog. i just found you about a week ago and was going to ask if it was ok if i posted your blog link on one of the larger forums i hang out on with other a.parents of little ones from guatemala. thanks for reaching out!

Jane said...

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your blog with me. What a great resource you will be to me as I try to teach my daughter about Guatemala! I'll pass your link on to others, too.

Arena Mom said...

Hello! I just stumbled on your blog! It is great and thanks so much for sharing so much about the culture!! I would love your thoughts on Americans adopting Guatemalans too sometime. I wil link to your blog!!

Katie said...

Thanks so much for the blog invite !! I am sooo excited about it . Even though I lived in Guatemala for 8 months while adopting it was hard to really learn the culture when I dont speak much spanish . One question I have (if you feel comfortable addressing) is now that your son is older how does he feel about being adopted. Is he interested in Guatemala or his biological family ?? Those are things I wonder as my twins are only 3 years now but as they grow I don't know what to expect .


Merrill said...

Hi Cynthia,
Thank you for sharing your blog with us.

nora said...

Cynthia - Love your blog! Thank you! We have been talking about the Easter procession with our 3 year old all week and finding a few videos to accompany what we are talking about. Your blog is great! Thanks bunches!!

Debbie said...


Thank you for sharing your blog with me. We were in Guatemala during Holy Week last year picking up our daughter. What an awesome experience to see the procession marching through the streets. Even though our daughter was only 10 months old at the time, I'm glad she was able to be there.

I would love to link your blog to my blog if you don't mind.

Steph said...

Oh, beautiful pictures! We were in Antigua during Semana Santa last year. It was amazing. I can still smell that incense!

Guatemalan Genes said...

Thanks for visiting.
Excellente, let me know which book it is so I can add it to books about Guatemala
It is my pleasure.
Please feel free to post it!
Jane Thanks
That is an interesting question. My perception is that is an enigma to many, I will write about it.
OMG! I will definitely write about it! To start answering he has expressed more interest in finding a brother than anyone else, the situation sis different though because he was 8 when we adopted him, I will post that story too.
You're welcome,
Check later I uploaded some videos already just have to embed them.
It is something amazing isn't it. Please do link it.
Thanks for staying with the blog!!


Nancy said...

Eres una gran embajadora de este país. Felicidades.

Heidi said...

I'm so glad I found your website! Having 2 children adopted from Guatemala I always look for ways to incorporate their heritage into our lives and to learn more about Guatemala.

Bobbi said...

thank you for sharing. I came across your blog from fellow adoptive parents. We too, adopted our son from Guatemala in March 2007. We are returning for 10 days in June. We will be working part time in Antigua, and its outlying areas while there. I would love to follow along w/you, and would like to send you an invite to my blog (it is private). I will need your e-mail address. Please e-mail me at sweetiepiekc @ roadrunner . com. (Take out all the spaces)

I am so excited to follow this blog. I am desperate to give my son his heritage, but find it difficult to find things.