Sunday, March 20, 2011


The "Prosecion" from the last post was amazing. Again, I can't put up the video & pics yet, so my words will have to do it justice.

It took awhile to find it, but I just followed the crowds & the young men dressed in satin purple imitation monks' robes who had been part of the procession. Finally I found a crowd gathered along the street. Then I saw the "carpets" that people had mentioned. They were made of flower petals & pine needles laid out meticulously in the street in the path of the parade.

At first it didn't look like much; I heard a band and a few of the men in the monks' costumes came down the street carrying flags. Then there was a small phalanx of boys dressed as Roman centurions.

Then the first of the floats came around the corner.

Not sure if "floats" is the right word. It was shaped like a coffin about 20 feet long, with a statue of Jesus carrying the cross on top. Instead of wheels it was supported on the shoulders of a large group of the "monks", carrying it like pallbearers. They were being escorted by more "centurions." The float read "Jesus a hoy, Jesus a siempre."

Behind the float was a marching band in tuxedos, led by a coductor. It was mostly brass, but there was a rolling drum. No marimbas, which surprised me, since they're Guatemala's national instrument.

After the marching band there was a second float similar to the first but featuring the Virgin Mary and carried by young women in black dresses. Their knees were bent to match the height of the smallest of the women, which was pretty small since they were Maya & Ladino. A couple of men alongside carried elevated statues of other saints, though I don't know which ones.

Last came several trucks labeled "Tren de Limpieza" (cleanup crew). They swept up the formerly beautiful carpets now trampled by the feet of the parade.

I don't know what the parade was called or what it was
for, though it's presumably connected to Easter. But it was a spectacular sample of Ladino culture. I'll post pictures & video when I can.

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