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).
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!
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.
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”.
Let it be known that I am not breaking the rules with yet another photo with cats. Even though our little Tito is in the picture (now you have seen all three of our cats: Lolita, Camilo and Tito), really what I want to show you is the pumice-stone blocks which are used to build houses in Guatemala. Also, I want to show you the broken glass, chaye in Guatemalan Spanish, which is put on top walls as protection against burglaries.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.