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Kristen & Joe in Guatemala: Semana Santa

This has been an odd week.  It’s called Semana Santa here.

 The Guatemalans are devoutly religious.  There’s a church on every corner. 

I’ve found that to be true in all the third world countries we’ve been to (which really haven’t been many).  It makes sense to me. They need the hope to cling to.  They need a God to turn to when their life gets rough.  It gives them a hope and a purpose when there is nothing else.  I say that to say this:  the week before Easter is a BIG deal. There are numerous processions with floats, street carpets made of colored sawdust,

stations set up where people can pray, etc.  All of these reflect Jesus on the cross. Then there are the partiers.  Some are Guatemalan who, in their frustation, turned to a life of drugs and alcohol.  Some partiers are tourists.  It’s an interesting and sad combination. A drunk passed out in the square in front of a church, or being stepped around by a family going to pray.  Everything shuts down for the whole week and  people like to set off fireworks all through the night.  Needless to say, I didn’t get much sleep the entire week.  I did, however, work a couple days for a organization called Mayan Families.  They help build homes and give out food for the poor indigenious families here.  This week, we packed and gave out hundreds of baskets filled with milk, bread, green beans, bananas, chicken, etc. At least those families will have food to eat this week.

Joe made friends with a little boy named Jesus and his sister, Maria (Spanish forMary).  Their parents don’t make much money and couldn’t take them to the circus that was in town.  The tickets are cheap.  Less than $3 for kids. On Saturday, we took them out for ice cream, and then on Sunday, we took them to the circus and bought them popcorn and Coke.  They loved it!!  I told Joe it’s not every Easter we get to take Jesus and Mary to a circus.  Haha!!

We love it here!  It is SO easy to do good and any little thing that is done for someone here is unbelievably appreciated.

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