Semana Santa (Holy Week) is a very special time in Guatemala. For us it was even more special because my parents came to visit. Above you can see them at Monte Cristo’s “Lover’s Point” overlooking the beautiful valleys that stretch into the countryside. Below they are visiting the local Elementary School.
After a few days in Monte Cristo, we went to Iximche, a site of Ancient Mayan ruins.
After the ruins we had dinner with our Guatemalan family at the house, which was a treat for everyone. We were so happy to have our two worlds coming together.
The next day we went with my parents to Antigua, where the real Semana Santa activities were about to begin. We always eat well in Antigua, and here are my parents flirting in one of our favorite restaurants- Saberico.
During one of our days in Antigua, we took my parents up to this famous cross. Since it was right before Easter, our hike up and our time there gave us a great reflection of the hill where Jesus carried a cross of his own.
During Semana Santa, Antigua is filled with processions and parades dedicated to Easter. Antiguenos, or the people that live there, still follow a centuries-old tradition of making carpets to honor God by making the roads beautiful to walk through. Carpets are made of sawdust, pine needles, or flowers, and last only for a few hours until the parades walk through and destroy them. while they last, they are incredible.
Below is the procession of “La Merced,” a famous church in Antigua. Each platform is decorated and carried by people. This procession probably uses around 50 people to carry it at a time. The processions can last almost a whole day.
We made sure to stop by the beautiful ruins of Antigua’s famous Spanish cathedrals.
One of the last things we did before my parents left was climb Volcano Pacaya, central America’s most active volcano. We were entrenched in a cloud the whole time, but we loved getting to hike and roast marshmallows over pools of lava. In the picture below is Luna, a friend Hilary made during the hike up.
We hated to see them go, but we treasured the time they had here with us during Guatemala’s most important and festive week of the year.