A Look Ahead to Semana Santa in Guatemala

A Look Ahead to Semana Santa in Guatemala

Visitors to Dorie’s Promise often mention the sense of inner peace and closeness to God they experience during their time with us. Quite often, guests leave feeling energized and restored because of their undistracted time. One of the greatest blessings to our ministry is the faith of those around us.

During this season of Lent, we’d like to look ahead to Semana Santa (Holy Week) in Guatemala.

Celebrating Semana Santa in Guatemala

Most of the Lent celebrations in Guatemala, as well as other Latin American countries, are rooted within the traditions of the Catholic church. During Lent, we prepare ourselves for the upcoming Easter celebration through intentional reflection and focus, anticipating the celebration ahead.

In the weeks leading up to Semana Santa, a steady rhythm of activities begins. You start to notice purple ribbons tied to windows. Sunday processions wind their way through towns. We are reminded of what is yet to come.

The importance of Semana Santa in Guatemala cannot be understated.

Hundreds of thousands flock to Antigua each year for Guatemala’s largest celebration. Witnessing the processions and experiencing the crowds in an overwhelming experience.

Semana Santa feels like a time to reconnect and ground ourselves each year.

Semana Santa highlights from our children

Alfombras – There’s a week every year when the streets turn into colorful patterns with incredible designs. The dyed sawdust carpets are made by the neighbors from each block. They work together the whole morning until the design is finished. Sometimes they use fruits, flowers, and palm leaves. When they’re finished, they spray the carpets with water so they won’t be blown away.

Processions – The sawdust carpets are made for the processions to walk over. The floats are massive with an image of Jesus on the top and are carried by people wearing dark purple robes. There’s also a band that plays music so you can hear the procession coming towards you.

Fireworks – Fireworks announce the procession is coming our way. 

Special Food – The food is delicious! You can get cotton candy by just raising your hand. Elotes Locos are weird looking but so tasty. Another favorite is called Torrejas. These are like cakes floating in syrup. Granizadas are the official beverage of the season. They are like a slushie but have different fruits and sometimes chips on them!

How do you celebrate Easter?

We’ve seen the Easter bunny on TV and heard stories about it but it’s not a Guatemalan tradition. Instead, we get a whole week off school and a lot of the adults get off work.

We’d love to hear your stories about your Semana Santa experiences and how you celebrate Easter.

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