Guatemala in Pink
The color pink: love, beauty, charm, sweetness.
Pink begins a day, sweeping across the skies at first light. Pink closes many days with an even richer display. Pink startles us on exotic flamingoes at La Aurora zoo, with bright feathers on birds along our jungle rivers, and on a large pink-and-chrome ‘63 Cadillac convertible prowling occasionally in Guatemala City’s Zona Rosa, the “Pink Zone.”
Rosado is pink, one of the original shades of the rose, not a deep red as some English-speakers think. Pink, is tender, delicate, romantic, whether in the skies at sunset or in ribbons for the hair.
The English name pink comes from the little flowers with serrated leaves, so “pinking shears” were invented for tailors to cut cloth with the same zig-zag. Most other European languages call the color rose or rosa, for those small blossoms with the spicy cinnamon aroma.
Bundles of pink flowers—not only long-stemmed roses but also little pinks and other garden delights—are on sale throughout the country this month for lovers, but that’s true here every month in our “eternal spring.” Pink for your Valentine, for children at play or for shut-in elders, is a soft reminder of your affection.
Homer cited “the rosy-fingered dawn,” and the clear Guatemalan skies make mornings and evenings even lovelier than anything Ulysses found. Rosado—rose-pink—blossoms of cherry and other fruit trees brighten our parks and orchards when in bloom, not just after cold winters as in countries to the north, but any time of the year when our trees so choose.
In Europe, the “golden age of pink” came with rococo art and architecture. This spread quickly around the Spanish Colonial Empire, showing up in Guatemalan paintings of noble ladies in pink, onto wall decorations, and on some brightly colored church facades of the late Colonial period. As you travel through Highland villages, look for fresh pink walls and designs atop the entries and windows of sanctuaries.
Pink was rare in native weavings until synthetic dyes became available, then weavers added pink touches to some huipiles (blouses) and wove pink ribbons for their hair. Pink topaz turned up in local mines, so pink jewelry became fashionable about the same time as the Spanish Colonial rule ended and pink paints and weavings appeared in church frescoes and altar cloths. Enjoy pink, this month and throughout the Guatemalan year.
REVUE article SENSUOUS GUATEMALA by Ken Veronda