Screen_Shot_2014-04-07_at_8.40.33_PMEach year during the religious procession on Good Friday, the townspeople of Benque Viejo Del Carmen take to the streets to commemorate the death of Jesus Christ. Holy Week, or Semana Santa in Spanish, is a weeklong celebration of colorful processions that opens on Palm Sunday and culminates into the weekend of Good Friday.


For the celebration, the community cooperates in creating sawdust tapestries, which involves the participation of hundreds of Benqueños of all ages, along the procession´s route.

 

And this year, organizers of the “El Santo Entierro’ are in Orange Walk to teach interested individuals about the tradition. Today, members of the Banquitas House of Culture, along with some high school students, learnt more about the tradition as they engaged in a sawdust carpet making project. Organizer, Josefina Salas, says it’s a tradition brought down from Guatemala that she has been doing for over 14 years.


Josefina Salas- Coordinator, Sawdust Carpet Project


“Les estoy haciendo un workshop aquí a los de Orange Walk referente a eso de cómo se pinta el aserrín para hacer las alfombras eso es lo que usamos nosotros en Benque Viejo para Viernes Santo. Eso lo hago yo en honor a Jesús para cuándo lo pasan así en su Santo entierro. Los colores los preparo yo para pintar el aserrín. Los diseños nada más ay que imaginarlos. Ay que estarlo mojando mientras que pase el santo entierro ya después que pase el entierro entonces si ya toda la gente puede pasar allí pero antes no. Yo tengo la ayuda de la comunidad, la gente amable que siempre me ayuda para que esto se leve acabo y es algo que hago cada ano.”


In Benque Viejo Del Carmen, Good Friday heralds much hustle and bustle, unusual for such a holiday. Carpet workers begin the strenuous work of creating colorful sawdust tapestries with themes relevant to the Passion, along the principal routes where ‘El Santo Entierro’ will occur, usually in the evenings.

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