Good Friday in Santiago de Atitlán

The next morning we all met again for breakfast at 8 am. Then we had to say goodbye to the other two guests. As it was Good Friday, there were no tuktuks and our host very kindly offered to row them to Santiago, where they would take a boat to Panajachel and from there a shuttle to Antigua.

I explored the Rapunzel tower, blogged, and rang my sister.

Around lunchtime I walked to Hotel Bambú and had mediocre lunch (grilled vegetables with mango sauce) but with a fabulous view over the lake.

I blogged some more, enjoyed exploring the grounds and sitting by the lake and the pool.

Around 3 pm I left for the town and admired the carpets on my way to the church.

Here they all have Maya designs (nature, animals, flowers) and are therefore quite different and special.

The unique thing about the Good Friday procession of Santiago de Atitlán is the fact, that they not only carry Jesus in a coffin and statues of Mary and Santiago around town, but the Mayan deity Maximón as well.

The poor boys really struggled carrying Jesus down the steps of the church and I was worried there might be an accident.

No wonder, they’d already been in the church for an hour, slowly rocking the coffin on their shoulders.

Once they were safely out of the church, a dancing Maximón made his appearance from a house off the square.

I took a tuktuk back to the end of the road and walked across the field towards my accommodation.

At some point I thought I might have taken the wrong way and went back to check if I’d taken the right path. I had but still felt lost and was happy to see a woman taking her dog for a walk. Turned out she was the German neighbour of my hosts, assured me I was almost “home” and brought me back on track. She reminded me very much of a German colleague and friend from Culham and I texted her straight away, if she had a long lost cousin living in Guatemala. Apparently not but the similarity was gobsmacking. From her I learned that there’d been a dispute between those catholics who accepted the fusion of beliefs and those who didn’t like Maximón being part of the procession. That’s why there are now two and I’d missed the first one and their service in front of the church earlier in the afternoon with more people taking part in traditional Mayan attire. Safely back at the airbnb, I had yummy dinner together with my host and his wife, and then a very interesting conversation with his mother.

One comment

  1. Du haettest ja mal ein Foto von meiner “Cousine” machen koennen! 😉

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