The Ecuador Chronicles - 2010-13
Semana Santa - Holy Week in Ecuador;
A Unique Perspective;
Palm Sunday and a Procession in Riobamba
Holy Week is a special time in Ecuador. The Faithful participate in processions around the country as part of the celebration. Live Well Ecuador principal, Mathieu Charles Guillory, is an American Catholic who has lived in Ecuador for more than eight years. Mathieu has put together a series of three Chronicles covering Holy Week. He provides a unique perspective on Ecuadorian Catholicism and its relation to Ecuador culture and life. Here Mathieu covers Palm Sunday and theNuestro Señor del Buen Suceso procession in Riobamba.
By Mathieu Charles Guilory
One of the many things that have always impressed me with Ecuador in my eight years of living here is the sense of tradition typical Ecuadorians maintain in their everyday lives. Whether it is with the pre-Inca culture that persists even today or Roman Catholicism, Ecuadorians maintain their roots - and keep to the basics. One of the better examples of this is demonstrated during Semana Santa. Whether you are Catholic or not….or even spiritual or not…the visitor cannot deny the deep sense of the traditional that touches on the transcendental.
It all starts with Palm Sunday, which is a tradition from the early Roman Church and brought to South America by the Spanish. I am not sure if early Christians went to such lengths to decorate with the simple palm leaf, but Ecuadorians with their artistic heritage turn palm leaves into works of art.
Nuestro Señor del Buen Suceso Procession in Riobamba
Artistic Palm Items
Another significant trait of Ecuadorians is to exemplify their beliefs. They are not content to merely talk about their passions - they want to demonstrate them in a public venue. One can see this almost weekly in political manifestations or protest marches in the major cities against a government policy or presidential action. This can be seen in religious processions throughout the country. One of the most authentic of these is the "Nuestro Señor del Buen Suceso” procession in Riobamba which dates back to the 17th Century; it is held every year on the Tuesday of Semana Santa. The miraculous image is carried throughout the streets of this ancient city (the oldest in Ecuador) set within the surroundings of three active volcanoes, including Chimborazo - the largest active volcano in the world.
Images of the Riobamba "Nuestro Señor del Buen Suceso” Procession
Mathieu, thank you for the great Chronicle and the fascinating Photos. Next week - Good Friday in Quito.
Would you like to visit Ecuador for Semana Santa -
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