Holy Guatemala!

The Virg

Even for a Catholic like me, the Guatemalan religious traditions of Santa Semana (or Holy Week before Easter) are something to behold. SEmana SantaAlmost 40% of the country has switched from Catholicism to evangelical Christianity, but that hasn’t made a dent in the high holy days.the cross

stations of the crossOn Palm Sunday in Antigua, the Mass started at 6 a.m. with a great tolling of bells and in the church plaza, beautifully hand-made palm arrangements were on sale everywhere.        mujeres

palmsBut the best part of the celebration was a tradition unique to Antigua — as overnight and through the day, people painstakingly created gigantic sidewalk murals out of colored sawdust. sawdust paintingIt reminded me of the exquisite sand paintings created by Tibetan monks – so precise and so temporal. bee


Some paintings were religious; others just beautiful. But everywhere in the city, people were out in the streets, making their beautiful mark. street sceneIt’s such a cool tradition from such a remarkable culture.

lovely girl


Lenten flowersAnd just part of why I love Guatemala so much.Antigua2

Happy Holy Week!