Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Viernes Santo / Good Friday in Rio Dulce

March 21st was Good Friday (Viernes Santo). It is a day of penance and fasting that is observed throughout Latin America. In Guatemala, the Catholic Church and the cofradias (brotherhoods) mount processions commemorating Christ's Passion. These processions vary from small ones bearing just a crucifix to huge processions with many displays carried by members of the various cofradias. The most elaborate such procession in the world takes place in Antigua, Guatemala. The streets are decorated with elaborate colored sand paintings and it's an unforgettable sight. Because it is a day of penance, the difficulty of the labor is part of it. The largest display in the Antigua procession is that from the Church at La Merced. It weighs 8,000 pounds and is carried through the streets on the shoulders of 80 men.

Rio Dulce is an aquatic community where we get around much more in boats and canoes than by road or on foot so the procession in Rio Dulce takes place on the river itself. Don Gato was there to shoot photos:

(click the photos to see larger sizes)

Good Friday Procession

Good Friday Procession

Good Friday Procession

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