Brightly Colored Carpets of Sawdust and Flowers for Easter in Guatemala Part 2 of 3

Start with Part 1
After a long night of assembling these huge works of art they are finally complete as the sun starts to rise higher in the sky on Easter morning here at Lake Atitlan.   The themes of these alfombras include religious ones and ones celebrating the natural world around us.  The people of San Pedro are truly masters at designing distinct and varied alfombras celebrating this very important holiday.  In Guatemala, Mexico and all over the Latin world this week is referred to as Semana Santa.   Semana Santa literally translated is Saints Week, for the people here Easter isn’t just one day long it is the whole week from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday.  This is the week many people make the trip home from the city or wherever their lives have taken them.

Alfombra of Veggies

Scallions, Eggplants, Peppers and Flowers make the pattern in this alfombra.

Alter Maya

This alter is very similar to ones shamans construct for ceremonies. The construction represents the heavens and the fruit can be seen as an offering for a bountiful harvest.

Pine and Palms
Natural World

This alfombra is decorated with regional animals prominent in Mayan culture: ants, turtles, jaguars, turkeys and others.


The ladies almost have this alfombra finished, I think it had more flowers than any of the others that day.

Flower Boat

A flower boat on a sea of pine needles.

Flower Boat and Carrot

Many of the alfombras have flower arrangements that would be the envy of any florist.

Myan Noze in the back ground

The La Nariz, or Mayan Nose, is the mountain in the background of this photo.

A Nun in Guatemala

A Catholic nun walks alongside the alfombra at Lake Atitlan.

One of several archways adorned with hanging fruit on the Easter procession route.

A boquet of Calla Lilies

A bouquet of Calla Lilies adorns this beautiful alfombra.


This one had bark as a base and an assortment of vegggies.


A Tz'utujil man wearing traditional dress pants walks alongside this alfombra.

More Cala Lilies

More Calla Lilies adorn this alfombra.

Walkway leading out of the Catholic church.

Walkway leading out of the Catholic church on Easter in San Pedro.

The Sun Comes up on Easter

The sun is starting to rise, time for the Easter procession at San Pedro La Lagna is close.

View of San Pedro from inside the Catholic church.

View out of the front of the church on Easter morning as parishoners and alter boys gather before the procession begins

I was truly grateful for how accepted I was and how well the people tolerated me and my camera.  My next post will be the Easter procession starting from inside the church and following it as it winds around town.  This post and the previous one are only warm ups for the beauty of the Easter procession at San Pedro La Laguna on the shore of magical Lake Atitlan.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *