Tag Archives: lent

San Bartolomé Becerra Church

Located to the southwest of La Antigua, this village was founded by Bartolomé Becerra on a small rural land parcel that he had been granted. Because of numerous earthquakes over the centuries, the village church has been almost constantly repaired, rebuilt, and modified.

As is common at many of the churches in the villages surrounding La Antigua as well as in the city itself, in front of the church is a carved stone cross and a small plaza. The church’s venerated statue (imagen) is of Jesus the Nazarene of the Falling, and this magnificent work is attributed to Pedro de Mendoza. The first procession of this imagen was the fifth Sunday of Lent in 1902. Jesus the Nazarene of the Falling depicts Jesus’ third fall while carrying the Cross, and the strikingly sad facial expression reflects the mournful events to come following this moment in the Passion of Christ.

San Bartolo (as it’s colloquially known) is a primarily agricultural village with the main crops being flowers, beans, and coffee. The patron saint festival in honor of the village’s namesake, the Apostle St. Bartholomew, is celebrated on August 24th. During the patron saint festivities, as well as for Lent and Holy Week activities, the village’s plaza is filled with vendors selling traditional Guatemalan foods.

Food for Holy Week

In La Antigua and the rest of Guatemala, special dishes are prepared during Lent and Holy Week that highlight the variety of pre-Hispanic and Western elements that converge in a rich and flavorful cuisine.

Some of the dishes are considered to be “seasonal”. Fish is one such food; it’s allowed according to Lenten dietary guidelines (which prohibit the eating of red meat) and so is eaten during this time of year in great quantities.

As with most gastronomic celebrations, although the season’s foods can usually be prepared at home, they can also be ordered from elsewhere. Curtido is one of these dishes; it’s a fresh and colorful combination of vegetables including carrots, beets, and green beans. Bacalao a la vizcaína – a codfish dish with peppers, onions, tomatoes, garlic, and capers – is another. This delicacy requires sufficient preparation time for the dried and salted cod to soak and rehydrate, as well as much care in its preparation because of the large amount of salt which is used to preserve the fish. While some of these dishes are prepared with recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation (and which may include the family’s “secret ingredient”), they can also sometimes be found at food vendors’ stalls located in the plazas and parks outside of churches during holy vigils.
More information

Beverages of Holy Week

Chinchivir

#Chinchivir #Raul Armas #bebidas #semana santa

Seeing cucuruchos in their purple robes is a sure sign that a procession is nearby. Since the days of the Spanish colonia there has been an unwritten rule that no cucurucho should leave the ranks of the faithful that accompany processions from start to finish. The only exception to this rule was to step away from the procession in order to eat and drink.

Chinchivir is known as “the beverage of cucuruchos”. It’s a light brown-colored drink that has been made in La Antigua for decades. The proprietors of the “Don Chepe Armas” store are renowned for being the preeminent maker of chinchivir.

Chinchivir is an artisanal beverage made with the juice of several varieties of limes and lemons, along with a special mix of herbs and spices – like cinnamon, cloves, and allspice. It’s a secret recipe that has been handed down through the generations, and it’s a drink that’s sure to quench your thirst during warm days of seeing alfombras and watching procesiones.

Atoles

#Atol de Elote #bebidas #tipicas #semana santa

Different varieties of atol have been an ever-present part of Antigüeños’ (and Guatemalans’) lives since the colonial era. These thick, hot drinks are based on different ingredients like corn, cornmeal, plantain, and beans, and can be found for sale in almost any park in La Antigua throughout the year, and the Lenten season is no exception. Cooking these atoles takes a lot of time, especially because there are many myths, legends, and superstitions about how they’re cooked and who may or may not partake in their preparation. It’s said that only one person can prepare corn atol and if someone else even touches the stirring spoon or ladle, they may end up getting cut. There are even rules that especially apply to pregnant women, whose mere presence in the kitchen when an atol is being prepared is said to cause the atol to burn and ruin the taste.

Los Frescos

#fresco #bebida #semana santa #tipica

The routes of the processions are usually very long, and because big containers of water or other beverages are too heavy to carry comfortably, sales of frescos are among the most sought after throughout the day of a procession. A fresco (which translates as “fresh”) is a sweetened natural drink served cold, such as horchata (made from rice and cinnamon), tamarindo (a tamarind-based drink), rosa de Jamaica (a hibiscus tea) and limonada con chan (lemonade with chia seeds).

You’ll be able to quickly and easily recognize a fresco vendor in the crowd: they have large glass containers filled with ice and various frescos. Although you can get the drinks to go – served in plastic cups – or you can drink your fresco right there in a glass, one of the very chapín (Guatemalan) ways to drink fresco is to get it to go in a plastic bag with a straw; it won’t weigh you down, and you can carry it easily. (But don’t set it down, or you’ll spill it all!)

Enjoy Guatemala’s traditional beverages, and remember that you’re only able to try some of them during this time of year. So what are you waiting for? Try them… you’re sure to like them.

Batido

#batido #jarro #bebidas #semana santa #tipica

At some of the food stands in front of churches, it’s not uncommon to see a large number of big clay pots next to a giant pot being warmed by a charcoal fire. These food stalls are the perfect place to be introduced to a traditional Lenten drink which – unless you’re very, very lucky – you won’t see again until November and December: the batido.

As with all traditional Guatemalan beverages, the recipe for this drink is a secret that is never disclosed by the families who have prepared batidos for years. Some of the ingredients – which can be guessed because of the delicious flavors – are: brown sugar from sugar cane, pineapple, allspice, cinnamon, and pinol (a flour made from toasted corn). These ingredients – as well as those that will never be revealed – are whipped and beaten for hours (thus “batido” which means “beaten”) until the drink takes on a perfect consistency. The scrumptious flavor is often a surprise for those who try it for the first time, and there are many more who seek it out because it’s a traditional Lenten favorite.

Written by: Raul Armas

Church Listing

Iglesia de El Calvario
Alameda de El Calvario, final.


Iglesia de Jocotenango
Municipio de Jocotenango


Iglesia de La Escuela de Cristo
Calle de los Pasos y Calle de Fray Rodrigo de la Cruz, esquina.


Iglesia de La Merced
6a Avenida Norte y 1a Calle Poniente, esquina.


Iglesia de San Bartolomé Becerra
Aldea de San Bartolomé Becerra


Iglesia de San Cristóbal El Bajo
Aldea San Cristóbal El Bajo


Iglesia de San Francisco El Grande
7a Calle Oriente e inicio de la 1a Avenida Sur.


Iglesia de San Felipe de Jesús
Aldea San Felipe de Jesús


Iglesia de San José Catedral
4a Avenida Norte y 5a Calle Oriente, esquina.


Iglesia de San Pedro
6a Calle Oriente y 3a Avenida Sur, esquina.


Iglesia de Santa Ana
Aldea Santa Ana


Iglesia de Santa Catarina Bobadilla
Aldea Santa Catarina Bobadilla


Iglesia de Santa Inés del Monte Pulciano
Entrada a la Antigua Guatemala.