After last week’s visit to Jocotenango’s Lent vigil, it took some effort to get off the couch and trek back to catch another vigil. Not only was the last vigil somewhat underwhelming, but there even seemed to be very little interest by the locals to see it.

Jocotenango Antigua Guatemala

The town’s name, Jocotenango means “land of jocotes,” a beloved, popular Guatemalan fruit. Giant jocote sculptures grace both entrances to town.

One week later, the scene was completely different. There were lots of food stalls and a party atmosphere around the church. More on that at the end of the post.

Nuestra Señora de la Asunción Jocotenango church

Jocotenango’s orange/pink/salmon colored church

The crowds, nonexistent during the last vigil, now had to be managed by a queue and door attendants.

Velacion Jocotenango Guatemala

Queue at the entrance to Jocotenango’s church

Vigil Jocotenango church Antigua Guatemala

The display was very different from the last one. For one, it was longer, stretching almost to the church’s door. Another wrinkle I hadn’t seen this year was that visitors could go around the display and get up-close to it. Much more immersive experience.

Jocotenango Antigua Guatemala VigilJocotenango’s display as seen from the front entrance

The alfombra was very nicely done, as were the decorative touches.
Vigil Jocotenango church Antigua Guatemala

Jocotenango’s alfombra

The most amazing thing about the display, however, was the image arrangement. By placing the trailing statues of Mary, John and Mary Magdalene in the distance, it gave it realism that lots of displays usually lack. Very smart use of space, unlike at Santa Ana.

Vigil Jocotenango Guatemala

Jesus on His way to Golgotha while Mary and followers watch from a distance

Jocotenango Vigil Antigua Guatemala

Closeup of Jesus and Simon of Cyrene images

Circling around the main display, visitors could get a closer look at the secondary images.

Jocotenango Antigua Guatemala

 Mary, John and Mary Magdalene

As visitors turned around, they also became part of the display; the same way crowds followed Jesus on the way to the cross. Very well thought out display, as I said.
Vigil Jocotenango church Antigua Guatemala

Following on the footsteps of Jesus

The entire time, the story of Jesus on His way to the cross played over the loudspeakers. Visitors were not allowed to linger too long and were ushered out by Brotherhood members standing behind the display.

Guatemalan Street Food

Outside, our daughter and I  – she was my companion for this trip – were overwhelmed by all the options. My daughter ended up having churros, another popular street food item.

Antigua Guatemala Street Food

Churros in Guatemala

Churros, if you’re not familiar with them, are a dessert made with fried-dough pastry, topped with granulated sugar, and often topped with chocolate syrup. Good and filling!

elotes corn on the cob Antigua Guatemala Street Food

Elotes” – Corn on the cob

*****

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