Vigil at Jocotenango, Guatemala – 11th Day of Lent

I’m always a bit apprehensive about visiting Jocotenango. A working-class suburb on the outskirts of Antigua, Jocotenango doesn’t have the best reputation as a safe place to be out and about in.

As it happens, Jocotenango is still trying to shed its reputation as an unsafe place. Home to seedy bars, brothels and gang warfare, the town has cleaned up its act.

The government sent in the Army about three years ago – they still do regular patrols there – and the town’s high gang violence has scaled back considerably. Which is why it’s perfectly fine to visit the town, should it ever be on your list of places to check out. And that’s why I was comfortable heading over to the Jocotenago Church with a camera on hand, though always with a bit more heightened awareness of my surroundings than I normally have in Antigua.

Jocotenango Church has a distinctive color which lends itself to an eye test – sort of like the brown/blue dress of Internet fame. Some people say it’s pink, some say it’s orange. Judge for yourself below.

Jocotenango church Antigua Guatemala

I think it’s pink…

Nuestra Señora de la Asunción Jocotenango church

Wait… maybe it’s orange?

In any event, I was in Jocotenango to visit its vigil display. One advantage small churches have over large churches is that they allow visitors to get up close to the displays. It’s definitely easier to fill up the room with all sorts of decorations. But when the church is so big, like Jocotenango’s, the display feels rather underwhelming.

Vigil Jocotenango church Antigua GuatemalaJocotenango Vigil Display

There was choir music being piped in, which admittedly help give the display an airy feel that suited it well. Here’s a closeup of the alfombra (sawdust carpet):

Vigil Jocotenango church Antigua Guatemala

Sawdust alfombra was well done – fruits were sparse


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