Friday, March 29, 2013

Guatemalans Create Kilometric "Sawdust Carpet"

Catholics throughout Latin America and the Caribbean countries have taken part in numerous traditions held in observance of the Holy Week.  In Costa Rica, for example, effigies of the apostle Judas are burned while an estimated two million people are believed to have witnessed the annual Good Friday procession near Mexico City.

In several Guatemalan cities such as Antigua, lengthy and colorful "sawdust carpets" (alfombras de acerrĂ­n) are made for display and are then trampled upon by Good Friday processions.

A "sawdust carpet" measuring about 1.1 kilometers (or roughly 3700 feet) was created on Thursday in Guatemala City.  The project took over six hours to complete and was constructed by approximately one thousand volunteers.  The naturally-dyed sawdust is carefully hosed with water in order to highlight the vibrant colors and hues of the carpet.

"I'm going to take a photo and post it on Facebook," reportedly exclaimed one of the tens of thousands of visitors expected to see the lovely yet temporary creation.

The Guatemala City alfombra, which may be a Guinness Record, depicts numerous religious images but also messages of support to the recently elected Pope Francis.  The local government and the Guatemalan Archdiocese hope that the artwork can convince the Argentine-born pontiff to visit the Central American country.

The former Archbishop of Buenos Aires will travel to Brazil in July for World Youth Day and it's rumored that he will visit Argentina at the end of the year.

Video Source - YouTube via user afpres

Online Sources - Noticieros Televisa, Prensa Latina,, Hispanic Culture Online, Costa Rican Times, Catholic News Agency

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