Thursday, April 01, 2010

Photos From Esquipulas

Well, I made it back safe and sound and all in one piece. It was a long trip home. The one big drawback to Esquipulas is that there is no way to get to it except for a 4 hour drive from any of the region's closest major airports. And I'm not even sure there are any "minor" airports that service the environs. But it is this very drawback that also gives Esquipulas its charm. One must make an effort to get there, which means that folks who make it there and who live there really want to be there. That was reflected in the strong sense of devotion and camaraderie that I felt there, particularly among the residents of the city, but also among its visitors and pilgrims. In any case, I was up at 4:00am on the day of my departure, made it to Guatemala City by 9:00am, in time for an 11:40am flight back to Houston in the U.S. And giving myself a couple of hours to get through immigration and customs in Houston (though it took considerably less time than that given that when we arrived there was practically no line at the immigration/customs checkpoints -- but you never know, I've waited for hours in that checkpoint place), I didn't touch down in New Orleans until about 6pm and wasn't home until about 7pm. It was an exhausting day home. At least I got a lot of reading done! Anyway, I wanted to post a couple of photos of Esquipulas:

The Basilica of Esquipulas

I stayed as a guest in the monastery attached to this Basilica.

The pictures below are of one of the many street processions to celebrate Semana Santa. This particular street procession was one of and for children. Notice that young boys were carrying the Jesus figure (in the first picture below) and that young girls were carrying the Virgin Mary figure (in the second and third pictures below).

One of the things I love most about Latin America is the way the children there just shower their affection and exuberance for life upon you -- even children faced with much hardship and despair. They always find joy in life and share it with anyone and everyone willing to accept it.

1 comment:

Julie P said...

Jimmy - Thanks so much for sharing. The pictures are really great. It is my hope to celebrate Semana Santa with Ally in Guatemala some day. The service opp for Tulane students sounds amazing. Glad you made home ok- yeah customs in Houston can be hit or miss.