Jenna Yordy
Jenna Yordy
Guatemala, 2023-2024
Hola! My name is Jenna Yordy, and I am a recent Global Leadership and TESL graduate. I am so excited to begin this 7 month journey in Guatemala, where I will be working at an orphanage in Cobán and at a trade school in Chimaltenango. Join me on this adventure as I experience living and working in Guatemala! Read More About Jenna →

Semana Santa

Hola friends and family!

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter spent with your loved ones! Here in Guatemala the whole week leading up to Easter, Semana Santa, is filled with celebratory activities and time spent with family. This week is also a holiday which meant we had a week off from classes!

We started out the week by preparing for Domingo de Ramos (Palm Sunday). The night before, we stayed up until close to midnight making bouquets out of palm, purple flowers, and ribbon (picture #1). These bouquets are carried during the processions on Palm Sunday (“ramo” actually means “bouquet,” interestingly enough). Then, the morning of Palm Sunday, my host family and I all woke up early to make an alfombra, which is a carpet made out of flowers that is put in the middle of the street in order for the people in the procession to walk over (picture #2-3). As soon as the alfombra is walked over, everything gets swept up and thrown away, so the beauty really only lasts for about twenty to thirty minutes.

We celebrated Semana Santa throughout the week, as well, by gathering with extended family, sharing meals, playing games, and watching movies together. We ate traditional foods like salted fish and ceviche, tamales and chile rellenos, and, of course, beans and tortillas. I also had the opportunity to drive to Antigua with a few cousins from the extended family to watch the processions there. The Antiguan processions are known to be the biggest and most impressive in the whole country, and thousands of people from around the world travel to see them. Because of the large amounts of people who attend, the drive to Antigua that normally takes 45 minutes, took close to two hours. All that time spent in the car was worth it, though, because the processions and the alfombras were incredible (pictures #4-6)!

During this week, I was also able to spend time with my host mom’s parents who live just outside of Antigua. My host mom’s dad is a marimba instructor, so I had the privilege of receiving a mini lesson from him. Luckily for me, the marimba is very similar to the piano, so I had no trouble learning which notes were where. The main difference is that the piano is played with your fingers while the marimba is played with mallets. I learned a few techniques like where to place the mallets and how to sustain notes, and even learned a simple song! As a musician, it was very meaningful for me to get to learn a little about an instrument that is so important to Guatemalan culture!

In other news, I recently heard from Jenna at Casa Gloria that Ria, the dog I rescued, was adopted! Jenna told me that Ria went to a wonderful family where she will be very loved and happy (picture #7). This was very exciting news for me and also such a beautiful reminder of what simple acts of kindness can do for both humans and animals.

As always, thank you for your thoughts and prayers!

Much love y hasta la próxima,


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