Holy Week 2018 an explosion of color and a sense of community

Holy Week 2018

La Antigua Guatemala embraces the largest celebration in the world for Lent and Holy Week, and this year was no exception. Visitors came from afar to experience a “Semana Santa moment” as Antigueños created countless flower and sawdust carpets throughout the processional routes and an array of holy vigils and processions. With more than 60 activities during the 40-day period […]

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Visiting El Mirador – A Dream Come True!

Visiting El Mirador – A Dream Come Tr

There are no roads to El Mirador intentionally to deter looters from the area. We arrived by helicopter and met other visitors who had walked through the rainforest trails for two days to get there. Flying over one of the few virgin rainforests left on the planet was breathtaking. Off in the distance, La Danta Temple, the oldest and largest […]

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Master Artists Working on Lenten Splendor in Antigua

Master Artists Working on Lenten Splendor in Antigua

The celebration of Lent in La Antigua Guatemala has become the largest in the word over recent years – yes, larger than Seville, Spain – and the Antigüeño artists have certainly contributed to this! Decorations for the velaciones – holy vigils held in the church before each procession representing the garden that Jesus visited before crucifixion – have become increasingly incredible, […]

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Lenten Season in Antigua

Lenten Season in Antigua

Lent begins this month on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 14, starting the countdown to Holy Week and the largest celebration in the world in La Antigua Guatemala! Yes, we outdid Seville, Spain a few years ago. The most exciting velaciónes (holy vigils) and processions this month are from Santa Catarina Bobadilla and Santa Ines, both located on the outskirts of this magical city. […]

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December Celebrations Virgin of the Conception

Inmaculada-Feature

After Burning the Devil festivities throughout Guatemala on December 7, Christmas celebrations begin the following day with processions for the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception. This is definitely one of the most popular traditions in the country. The devotion of the virgin dates to the 1500s in Guatemala, while the “Rezado (procession) de la Inmaculada Concepción de San Francisco” in […]

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Transformations: A short history of La Antigua’s Central Park

Antigua Guatemala park

Everyone is so excited about the new Central Park project with our new flowers, railings, garbage cans and renovated benches. The Comité de Ornato La Antigua is doing a wonderful job renewing our Parque Central! The history of the Plaza Mayor, known now as Central Park, goes back to the beginning of the city when the first city planners laid […]

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SLIDE SHOW Antigua: Behind the Walls with Elizabeth Bell

Guatemala events

Wed. (English) SLIDE SHOW Antigua: Behind the Walls with Elizabeth Bell. Enjoy a one-hour presentation with vintage and contemporary photographs collected over the past 40 years, accompanied by Elizabeth Bell’s expert narration. Q50 per person. Questions encouraged. Autographed books available. Hotel Sor Juana, 4a calle oriente #45, La Antigua

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Early Religious Sculptures in Guatemala

Guatemala sculpture

Religious sculptures are a focal point for prayer and meditation. It is believed that when prayed to with the utmost religious fervor, the figure, or its essence, grants the believer a favor, request, or a miracle. Guatemala created its own extremely expressive style through talented Guatemalan-born artists resulting in the finest Spanish-American sculpture, particularly between 1650 and 1773. These works […]

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HOLY WEEK PHOTO PRESENTATION with Elizabeth Bell

Guatemala holy week

Wednesday. (English) HOLY WEEK PHOTO PRESENTATION. Enjoy an hour-long presentation with Elizabeth Bell including fabulous descriptions and photos of carpet making, velaciones, processions and information about this season. Great tips to enjoy the processions! Questions encouraged and autographed books available. Q50 p/p, proceeds benefit educational programs in Antigua. Hotel Sor Juana, 4a calle oriente #45, La Antigua

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SLIDE SHOW Antigua: Behind the Walls with Elizabeth Bell

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Wednesday. (English) SLIDE SHOW Antigua: Behind the Walls with Elizabeth Bell. Enjoy a one-hour presentation with vintage and contemporary photographs collected over the past 40 years, accompanied by Elizabeth Bell’s expert narration. Q50 per person. Questions encouraged. Autographed books available. Hotel Sor Juana, 4a calle oriente #45, La Antigua

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How Holy Week Celebrations in La Antigua became the Largest in the World

Holy Week in Guatemala

Last year, it was estimated that 1.2 million visitors were in La Antigua for Lenten and Holy Week. When the Spanish conquerors arrived in Guatemala from Mexico in 1524, they brought with them the religious traditions from Seville, Spain. Little did they imagine that in the 21st century these celebrations would become the largest in the world. “Historical references to […]

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Film Production in Guatemala

Guatemala films

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION! With all the rave for “Ixcanul,” which was submitted as the Guatemalan entry for Best Foreign Language Film (Kakchikel) for the 88th Academy Awards airing this month, we focus on filmmaking in Guatemala. While Ixcanul was not nominated for the Oscars, it has won dozens of awards internationally. With our own actors from nearby Santa María de […]

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SLIDE SHOW “Antigua: Behind the Walls” with Elizabeth Bell

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Wednesday. (English) SLIDE SHOW Antigua: Behind the Walls with Elizabeth Bell. Enjoy a one-hour presentation with vintage and contemporary photographs collected over the past 40 years, accompanied by Elizabeth Bell’s expert narration. Q50 per person. Questions encouraged. Autographed books available. Hotel Sor Juana, 4a calle oriente #45, La Antigua

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Nativity Scenes / Nacimientos in Guatemala

Baby Jesus from a nativity scene, photo by Juan José Yas c.1915 (CIRMA)

Nativity scenes have been a tradition in Guatemala for centuries, much before Santa Claus and Christmas trees arrived. They were originally based on the descriptions found in the Gospel of Luke. St. Francis of Assisi received special permission from Pope Honorius III to make the first nativity scene with figures of Joseph and the Virgin Mary in 1223 with the […]

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La Antigua Guatemala — A Step Back in Time

Liz-old-antigua-back-300

Guatemala Insight by Elizabeth Bell, author/historian. Old drawings and photographs of La Antigua Guatemala have always fascinated me. They take me back in time to when Antigua truly seemed almost abandoned. We know very few people stayed after the official move of the capital to Guatemala City in 1773. While we have some historical records from the 1800s and few drawings by […]

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Narrative Slide Show, “Antigua: Behind the Walls”

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11 Wed., 6pm. (English) Narrative Slide Show, “Antigua: Behind the Walls” with Elizabeth Bell. Enjoy a one-hour slide show with vintage and contemporary photographs collected over the past 40 years, accompanied by Elizabeth Bell’s expert narration. Q30 p/p. Questions encouraged. Autographed books available. Hotel Sor Juana, 4a calle oriente #45, La Antigua

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NARRATIVE SLIDE SHOW “Antigua: Behind the Walls” with Elizabeth Bell

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21 Wed. 6pm — (English) NARRATIVE SLIDE SHOW Antigua: Behind the Walls with Elizabeth Bell. Enjoy a one-hour slide show of Antigua and its heritage with vintage & contemporary photographs collected over the past 40 years, accompanied by Elizabeth Bell’s expert narration. Proceeds benefit educational programs in Antigua. Q30 p/p. Questions encouraged. Autographed books available. Join us at Hotel Sor […]

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Who was St. James?

Santiago monument (photo: César Tián/Revue)

La Antigua Guatemala was founded as Santiago de Guatemala (St. James of Guatemala). Located previously at the Kaqchikel site of Iximché in 1524 and then next door to Ciudad Vieja (San Miguel Escobar) in 1527, the first city council met in this valley on March 10, 1543. Since St. James is the patron saint of Spain and was the patron […]

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