This last Easter week we went to San Rafael Pie de la Cuesta a town 57 km west of San Marcos, close to the border of Mexico and on the shadow of the Tajumulco Volcano. It is a town of the municipality by the same name.
|The town of San Rafael from the village Feria
Although it is a small town it is definetly a happening place. We participated in the local religious activities, shopped all the second hand clothing stores, ate at the local market and also were able to enjoy a some of the ecoturism the area has to offer: La Igualdad Falls and Refugio del Quetzal (other posts on this will follow). We need to go back to climb the volcano, visit the Niagara Falls (yes another Niagara) and do a day trip to Tapachula the first town in Mexico. Kids felt free since at the town of San Rafael it's still safe for kids to play on the street, and go to the store by themselves.
|Nicole, Josesito and Cooper strolling around San Rafael
My parents stayed at Hotel Victorias in San Rafael a very nice, comfortable hotel with a cold cold pool.
|The cold pool at Hotel Victorias, Josesito was the brave swimmer
|View of Volcano Tajumulco from the town of Feria
|Lunch with family in the house at Feria
San Rafael and most of the villages around reeenact the Passion through all the week with romans, thieves, demons, the disciples and Jesus. Satan roams around town in the afternoon and evenings looking for Jesus to tempt him. The disciples walk around town. On Thursday the last supper is reenacted, at night Jesus is left in a prison built in a street and the next day is crucified.
|Satan looking for Jesus
|Jesus and the disciples
At the same time on Friday all streets where the procession will pass are covered with sawdust rugs. We were able to but turns for Q10.00. I was worried if we needed a special attire like you do in the big procesions at Antigua and the city but they are quite practical, when your turn comes you just put on a purple cape.
As I am writing I am wondering if the resurrection is also reenacted. I don't know since we headed back early Sunday morning.
If you come to Guatemala only for a week and for the first time, San Rafael is not one to make the list, but if you are here for a longer stay or repeated tourism I highly recommend it.