In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age
of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this
financially independent lifestyle, they invite you
to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli
Holy Week is one of the
most important times of the Catholic Church and it is during this week that the
life and passion of Christ is celebrated. Beginning Palm Sunday and ending Holy
Saturday, there are colorful processions all throughout Latin America to observe
the importance of Christ's last days on earth.
We were in
Guatemala during Good Friday and caught a bit of the processions and the
colorful carpets that make this time so famous around the world.
Church of St. Francis built in
Here you see the town's church
which was built in the 1500s to honor St. Francis of Assisi. The
carpet down the center of the photo is made of fine, colored sawdust
and the procession will walk down this carpet as they enter the
Side streets are
The whole town becomes part
of the procession as the streets are decorated as well. The people, carrying the
floats on their shoulders, walked down this street earlier in the morning.
A Madonna scene carpet
Here you see Mother Mary
with the Baby Jesus in her arms depicted in the sawdust carpet on the street.
The crowds of the faithful and those carrying the floats will walk through this
carpet during the procession.
Basically the procession
destroys the carpets and they are swept away after the group has left.
Alfombra is the
Spanish word for carpet and these street decorations can be quite elaborate,
taking hours to make. They can be comprised of sawdust, but also pine needles,
sand, rice, flower petals, corn husks, grasses, flowers and even fruits and
Designs are created by
utilizing a wooden stencil and the different colored materials are poured
through the holes.
Waiting for the float to arrive
Here you see an alfombra made with
pine needles, fruits, rice and flowers. There are side altars also where
bouquets are placed and people can kneel down to say prayers or ask for God's
blessing, forgiveness or favor.
gathers, watching the float pass by
An effigy of Christ
carrying his cross is on the float, carried by selected members of the church.
The float, which is astoundingly heavy is borne on the shoulders of those
walking in the procession. Frankincense is burned ahead of the float to clear
the way for it to pass.
Christ in the center, with a Roman guard
Here you see the float from a different
angle. A Roman guard is depicted behind Jesus, moving him along to the mount
where he will be crucified.
Many of the faithful reenact the 14 stations
of the cross during Lent. These stations are eventful moments during the Passion
of Christ from His trial where He is condemned to death all the way to when He
is laid in the tomb after he is taken down from the cross.
Purple is a color of Lent
Purple has become the color for Lent and
represents penance. Often churches will be decorated in this color during this
time of year, and priests will wear purple vestments.
Frankincense clears the way
More frankincense wafts through the streets
and the procession continues through the town. Notice the purple swath of cloth
on the cross in the right of the photo, along with a crown of thorns at the top
of the cross.
Keeping control of the tempo
You might not recognize it, but there are two
men in white shirts at the front of the float who are keeping the tempo of the
procession. They hold the float back just a bit so that everyone can be in the
same rhythm and speed. If the ones in the front get carried away and move too
quickly, then the ones in the back cannot keep up and will drop the float. Or if
the ones in the back push too hard, then the ones in front will be walked over.
Something tells me this happened at some
point before, and now there are those in charge of the pace of the float to
prevent it from happening again.
Here you see those carrying
the float on their shoulders, and the men who are pacing it.
If you are ever in
Guatemala during Holy Week, you will see processions such as these with gorgeous
carpets on the ground. Most cities will have these gatherings, and some cities
are famous for them, such as
For more stories, photos and information
about Antigua, click
For more stories and photos
of Guatemala, click
About the Authors
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are
recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on
topics of finance, medical tourism and world travel. With the wealth of
information they share on their award winning website RetireEarlyLifestyle.com,
they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since
1991. They wrote the popular books, The
Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your
Retirement Dream IS Possible available on their website
Early Lifestyle appeals to a different
kind of person – the person who prizes their
independence, values their time, and who doesn’t
want to mindlessly follow the crowd.