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April 2007

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Ciudad Vieja Cathedral Dome






In the picture above you can see the dome of the Ciudad Vieja Cathedral; a town four kilometers away from La Antigua Guatemala. Now a little trivia information. Ciudad Vieja was the second settlement of Guatemala City right before they moved it to where La Antigua Guatemala is now. Thus, its name means Old City or Ciudad Vieja in Spanish (check the aerial shots of Ciudad Vieja).




If you read, you succeed






The bibliobuses’ route takes them around Sacatepequez, that is the name of the State where La Antigua Guatemala is located—called Departamentos in Guatemala, visiting the villages around La Antigua for two hour per stop and returning every week. So kids with no access to public libraries, get the chance to read and check out the material in the mobile library chicken buses once a week. Here is the side view with the contact information of Probigua and their motto: Please Help Us to Help!







We Move Books!






The back of the mobile library chicken bus has even the same typography and three-step color gradient as the public transportation buses. …




Inside the Mobile Library Chicken Bus






Some of you have asked to update yesterday’s entry about the Mobile Library Chicken Bus with information on how to help and how to send donations. Come on people, you did not think I was going to left the entry about bibliobuses there, right? I have three more photos to go, one per day, as that is our agreement. I will be posting all this information for you to help and donate to such worthy project.







Mobile Library Chicken Bus






Here is an interesting twist for the infamous chicken bus. Turn it into a bibliobús or mobile library bus so you can take the books to the communities that lack a library. For now, they have two bibliobuses, but I believe they will need a whole fleet to cover all the communities that do not have a library in Guatemala.

Now I know where I will be donating my next batch of books. The two mobile library buses belong to the Non-Government Organization (NGO) Probigua, which stands for Proyecto Bibliotecas Guatemala (Libraries Project of Guatemala). Come back in the next few days to learn more about the project and to see the inside of a “chicken bus”.







You’ve Got Some Balls!






Guatemala is a football-playing country and thus it is obvious that balls are the favorite toy for young and mature kids . …




Upside Down Arches






The first time I published the arches reflected on the water tank at Tanque de la Unión Park in La Antigua Guatemala, there were many people who really liked the photo. There were even some Guatemalans who said the reflection was done in Photoshop. Now you can take the statement either way: you can feel proud to know that you’ve snapped a shot that people think you spent many hours in the digital lab of Photoshop or you can take it as a put down on your photo-taking ability. I am glad I am very competent in the Photoshop department, heck I could even argue that I excel in the skills of Photoshop since I started working in version 2 and I use the program in a daily basis.







Let Me Show You My Guts






There are still many walls in La Antigua Guatemala made from stones. The lucky owners of such wall choose to show the …




Flowers for the Innocent






Flowers for the innocent who died yesterday in the Virginia Tech college and everywhere in the world.




Maize Cane Fence






Not all the walls in La Antigua Guatemala are made from stones, bricks or pumice blocks, some are actually made from organic …




Opposite ends of life #2






The original post Opposite Ends of Life, in La Antigua Guatemala DP, was published on May 23rd, 2006 and it was about a little girl and an old lady helping each other cross the street. It is an interesting shot, if I may say so, you should see if you haven’t done so already.

Today’s entry is about different women and their opposite position in the spectrum of life.







Making a Living with Polaroid






Two things still with us after we considered them long-dead: Polaroid and Polyester. Here and in many parks of Guatemala you can …




Perfect Weather for Retirement






One aspect of life in La Antigua Guatemala which drives many people to move here is the temperate weather. Even in the …




Voters Registration Campaign






A new roller-coaster ride has began in Guatemala: it is once again election year. Guatemala has election every four years. Normally people …




Holy Week Elements: The Churches






Churches serve as terminals from which processions depart or arrive. Churches also serve as home-base for all the brotherhoods of cucuruchos and sisterhoods. Churches also put their best face for the Holy Week and many get a paint job and/or restoration works in the weeks prior to Semana Santa.

With this photo we wave goodbye to Semana Santa and to Holy Week’s processions. I was told the last procession, the Resurrection (Resurección) procession comes out on Easter Sunday (today) a 6 a.m. and its back in the church by 10 in the morning.







Holy Week Elements: The Sorrowful Mother






La Dolorosa or The Sorrowful Mother is the biblical figure of sorrowful mother Mary which follows Jesus in his way to his crucifixion. This act is represented by a smaller anda (long carved wooden flatbed image-carrying float [*]) —carrying the effigy of sorrowful Mother Mary and other female biblical representations— which is hauled exclusively by women who mostly dress in black or white as this is the appropriate dress code for a funeral. Jesus’ funeral.







Holy Week Elements: The Cross






Nevertheless, Good Friday is the culmination of the Holy Week Celebrations and the processions end at the Calvario Church (Calvario is the Spanish word for Calvary or Golgotha). The entrance of the Calvario Church in La Antigua Guatemala is a yellow façade with three arches, topped by three bells and three crosses —one larger than the other two— with a very large concrete cross in front. Can you see the obvious architectonic reference to Jesus’ crucifixion?







Holy Week Elements: Cucuruchos






Cucuruchos with their purple or violet cone-head dress are another prominent element of Semana Santa in Antigua Guatemala. Last week, Santiago Durham asked what its the significance of the color purple or violet in the dress and banners during Semana Santa, well it took a lot of digging to find out (I turned around and asked my office coworker), but I can now tell you the purple is worn as a sign of penitence. As a matter of fact, processions are a sign of penitence as well, heck the whole Semana Santa is a penitent act.







Holy Week Elements: The Making of the Carpets






The making of carpets from sawdust, pine-needles, flowers, vegetables is a community-forming tradition. People get together by block or near-by neighbors to create the carpets on which the processions will pass by. Sometimes the making of the carpets is done at night, all night so they are ready for next day’s procession.







Holy Week Elements: Sawdust Carpets






The making of sawdust carpets (alfombras de aserrí­n) with its vivid colors and eye-catching patterns are among the most prominent elements of the Holy Week celebrations. You can come back all this week to see other samples of carpets made with flowers and fruits and vegetables.