It may not be a common scene in Belize for Holy week but the art of sawdust carpets is slowly making its presence in the country. It first started in Benque Veijo Del Carmen in the Cayo District and this year will make it three years on Good Friday that the tradition was adopted in Orange Walk Town.

This morning students from Orange Walk Technical High School gathered at the Banquitas House of Culture to assist in the preparation of materials that will be used to create the saw dust carpets which will be exhibited at the La Inmaculada Roman Catholic Church on Good Friday as part of a procession.

Screen_Shot_2016-03-15_at_8.14.29_PMCindy Rivero –Organizer, Banquitas

“We are preparing the colored saw dust for an activity that we have been doing for the past two years so this will be our third year where we will do saw dust carpet in front of the church so what we are doing here is to paint the color so that we can make our designs for good Friday, we have here the Orange Walk Technical High School who are doing community work since they are celebrating Humor week so they have come here to assist us in preparing the different colors that we would want to make our elaborate carpets on Good Friday.”

While the tradition is most common in Central and South America and in some parts of the United States of America, here in Orange Walk it was adopted to commemorate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Cindy Rivero –Organizer, Banquitas

“The main purpose of coloring the saw dust is for us to have different designs for the different lives of Jesus Christ for Good Friday so the carpets that will be designed here will be there so that when the procession comes out from church they can walk over the carpet, it is done as an honor for what Jesus Christ went through, so it is a sacrifice that we are making, it is a lot of work but luckily we had the support of our community and of course our students and they are enjoying this process.”

For students, taking  part in an activity that now forms part of Orange Walk’s culture on Holy Week, is a blessing on its own.

Brianna Medina

“I’ve been here for the past two years, it is a very fun activity to do and as you can see we have some more students from Orange Walk Technical High School and most are from my class and this is a good thing to do like and as I say Easter soon to come and I like do this because I like do arts and I like to come here because you get to learn new experiences and get to learn new things at Banquitas and I encourage others student to come and do this as well.”

The entire Orange Walk Community is invited to come out on Good Friday to view the master pieces that will be on display.

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