This week is Semana Santa in Guatemala. The celebration of the Easter week. Semana Santa is a HUGE celebration here and most people take off the entire 10 days. In addition to those people who come to vacation on the Rio Dulce in their boats for the week, Antigua fills up with people celebrating the more religious side of the holiday. Here are some images of Semana Santa.
|The end of a Semana Santa Procession in the street in Antigua. Many men in purple robes.|
|The kids enjoying the pool at the neigbouring marina in Rio Dulce, while I supervise boat work.|
Rio Dulce is a resort area. The river drains big lake Izabal at one end, and the ocean end provides access to El Caribe and the Cays of Belize. This area fills up during Semana Santa with all the wealthy people from Guatemala City who keep their boats here. The river fills up with crazy young Guatemalans on jet skis blasting up and down, churning the entire river into a froth. Every marina and restaurant is blasting music through speakers out over the river, presumably to attract customers (although it is keeping us away). It makes a summer weekend in Fort Lauderdale look calm. I don't think this is really most people's mental image of Guatemala. It certainly wasn't ours!
|Helicopters bringing the wealthy to Rio Dulce for Semana Santa. And also blowing dirt all over the boats in the yard.|
|Some of the big boats docked at our marina, all tucked away in their boat sheds.|
|Jesus leading the procession of boats.|
|Purple is the color of Semana Santa. I'm not sure of the historical reason for this, but everyone involved in the procession was wearing a purple t-shirt.|
|One of the boats had prominent pictures of the Pope on it's stern.|
|The Virgin Mary's boat stopped for fuel right in the middle of the procession. I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure "Gas Station" isn't one of the traditional Stations of the Cross.|
|The lead boat with Jesus on the front, and this picture over the stern.|