Thanks to the many generous donations we received we were able to deliver over 440 baskets of food to families. Students and their families.
All of the children in our three preschools, Panajachel, Solola and San Jorge la Laguna received bags of traditional sweet bread and rounds of chocolate to make hot chocolate to share with the family.
We were especially happy to be able to deliver Semana Santa baskets to the elderly.
We are grateful for all the donations that allow the communities that we work in to have enough food to be able to celebrate with their families.
Semana Santa is a very special time in Guatemala.
The Semana Santa bread can have very beautiful and intricate designs on it.
Semana Santa is celebrated in the street with processions.
Each procession has floats which are often religious images of the Passion of Christ. There are also children's floats, women's floats and floats carried only by men, which are the largest. The processions pass over these beautiful carpets.
These beautiful carpets ( alfombras). These carpets adorn the streets of many towns. The most intricate and ornate is found usually in Antigua. Sand or sawdust is used to level the cobblestones and is dyed in different colors and interwoven with bright flowers, other plants, pine needles, and even fruits. But most towns and even some villages do a beautiful display on the streets to celebrate Semana Santa.
Carpets express both religious and cultural messages in the designs.
Preparations for the carpets begin months before the processions.
Often the carpets are done by family and friends, or businesses on the street. They will start working on a carpet ten to twelve hours before the procession is scheduled to pass by their street.
They use wooden planks raised above the road to be able to work on the carpets or in the case below, a ladder.
They have molds or stencils made, which they have often been working on for a year and the sawdust is carefully placed in the designs. They are wet down periodically to stop them from blowing away. They keep the sawdust wet to keep it in place.
The carpets are created for a religious procession to be able to walk over them. This tradition was brought from Europe by the Spanish.
Catholic Guatemalans hang curtains, cloth bows, flowers, and paper decorations of purple, red, lilac,
and yellow in doorways and windows to signify the suffering and royalty of Jesus. In Panajachel, the procession stops in front of each offering.
One of the traditional meals of Semana Santa. Chile Relleno.
Semana Santa is a joyous, colorful time in Guatemala and we hope that you can come and experience it for yourself!