Holy Week in Guatemala
Easter activities and festivities
April 26, 2012 - Guatemala
During Holy Week, our tíos and tías (care takers) are all on vacation and our volunteers and Años de Servicios (Years of Service) children are in charge. While in charge, they take care of the children.
In Guatemala, our Easter festivities began on Holy Wednesday when 12 of our youngest boys, with the help of Sister Fransisca who works in our religion department, reenacted the Last Supper and the washing of the disciples’ feet by Jesus. Everyone gathered in the dining hall to watch and listen to the story of the Last Supper and watch their brothers act out what happened that night between Jesus and his disciples.
Boys who acted out the Last Supper
On Good Friday, went on a field trip into the local town of Parramos where the children participated in the final Viacrusis, Stations of the Cross. This was different from the Stations of the Cross that had been conducted here at the home during Lent. The main difference was that the town of Parramos Viacrusis involved many processions. These processions included the involvement of floats and elaborate carpets made of flowers, fruits, and colored wood chips. This was a great opportunity for our children to participate and interact with our local community in Guatemala. After returning to the home and having a brief reflection period, the children were able to return to their regular activities until early afternoon. After lunch, everyone gathered in the dining hall to watch a movie about the life and death of Jesus.
Saturday morning and afternoon were filled with fun and games. The boys went swimming in our pool where our fish are raised while the girls participated in water activities that our oldest girls organized for the younger girls. After the fun and excitement in the water, the kids dried off and got ready to paint Easter Eggs. While not all of the children participated in this activity, the room was still full of children who wanted to paint eggs for the next morning’s Easter Egg Hunt.
As the evening approached, the children got ready for the Vigil that was planned by the home’s religion department. The children met on the basketball court at 7:30 pm to start the Vigil; there were no lights and only one lit candle sitting in the middle of the basketball court. Candles were passed out to everyone and one person from each section was picked to light their candle and then to pass the flame on to the rest of the children in their section. Slowly, all the candles were lit section by section, and a procession around the home began. The parade of lights walked around the home and finished in the dining hall where the children listened to scripture and talked about their relationships with God until 11 pm.
Once the children were back in their sections, the volunteers gathered together so that they could hide the Easter Eggs for the Easter Egg Hunt. The following morning the children woke up and the Easter Egg Hunt began. Once all the eggs were found, the children went back into their sections to get ready for mass in the town of Parramos.
When walking in the town, the tíos and tías met up with the volunteers as they were returning from their vacations. The children filled the church and mass began with a procession of two floats into the church. After mass, everyone returned back to the home for a day of relaxation and rest.