Exhausted from the long drive yesterday, Rob slept in for a bit while the kids and I went out for breakfast and to get our bearings around town. As we strolled through the city, we came upon dozens of families creating colorful "alfombras" on the cobblestone streets. Using colored sawdust, grains, pine needles and flowers, they spend hours and hours, often starting the process in the wee hours of the morning, making these elaborate rugs to cushion the feet of "los cucuruchos"  as they make their way through the city, carrying the heavy "andas" apon their shoulders. Hours and hours of work, months of planning and preparation, all destroyed in an instant.

Antigua Guatemala

Antigua Guatemala

Antigua Guatemala

Semana Santa in Antigua

Antigua Guatemala

Antigua Guatemala

We walked over to the Iglesia de San Francisco where one of today's processions was scheduled to begin to confirm the start time and the route they would follow through the city. Although it was quite early, already the grounds were starting to fill up with onlookers, vendors and members of the national media all jockeying for the best position to see the parade.

Iglesia San Francisco Antigua 

Iglesia San Francisco Antigua

The kids and I went back to Las Faroles to collect Rob and hurried back to the church in time to watch the the iniciation of the procession. The grounds surrounding the church were now packed wih people, the devout, many of whom have traveled for days to be in attendance for this remarkable spectacle of remembrance. The energy in the air was palpable. Pictures and words cannot possibly describe the event.

Antigua Guatemala

Antigua Guatemala

Antigua Guatemala

Following the crowds, we pressed our way out onto the streets and found a spot from which to watch the entire procession pass by.

Semana Santa in Antigua

Semana Santa in Antigua

Semana Santa in Antigua

Antigua Guatemala

Antigua Guatemala

Semana Santa in Antigua

Antigua Guatemala

Semana Santa in Antigua

Semana Santa in Antigua

As the San Francisco passed us by and continued on its route through the city, another started from the Iglesia de la Esculela de Cristo. This one was smaller but no less interesting.

Semana Santa in Antigua

Semana Santa in Antigua

Semana Santa in Antigua

Semana Santa in Antigua

O our way to search outthe popular expat hangout "Cafe No Se" we came across a group of students creating a beautiful rug in front of their Spanish school "Centro Linguistic La Union". Of course, Birdie jumped at the chance to help out.

Semana Santa in Antigua

Semana Santa in Antigua

Semana Santa in Antigua

After a few drinks at "Cafe No Se" we wandered over to the park at the Church of San Pedro where the public washing basins are still in use. The whole park was filled with food vendors and people enjoying an evening in town. There were dozens of childrens playing "escondidos" (hide and seek) and our kids were only to happy to join in. Apparently, our blond haired and blue eyed children were quite a curiousity.

Cafe No Se in Antigua

La Tanque de La Union

El Tanque de La Union

The Church of San Pedro

The Park at San Pedro Church

The Park at San Pedro Church

The Park at San Pedro Church

After a few plates of grilled chorizo and chiles rellenos and a long day of walking, we dragged ourselves back to the hotel for a long night's sleep, although, some of us would have a shorter night than others.

Go to Antigua Day 2