Antigua Walls & Doors

Having captured a good number of photos of the various ruins, churches and other sites in Antigua, I realized I hadn’t captured any photos of the rest of the city, which features an incredible array of colors, textures and doors.

City blocks are fairly uniform in the fact that walls are right up to the sidewalk and street, with the interiors hidden away behind doors and windows. I absolutely love walking around the city and I am so pleased that its proximity makes for an easy afternoon getaway.

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Habitat For Humanity Build

A group from our church headed out this past Saturday to help at two different Habitat For Humanity build sites in the Antigua area. One in San Mateo Milpas Altas and the other in Jocotenango. Guatemala is number two worldwide in the number of completed projects, at over 50,000. It was great to finally take some time to serve and I hope to get to help on more projects before our time is finished here.

We loaded up at the church in a school bus. 🙂

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The youth from the church ended up working the site in San Mateo and the rest of us went to the site in Jocotenango. We did lots of digging and moving of dirt and helped with the rebar construction, what they call “ribs” here in Guatemala.

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Now that we’ve seen this site in the earliest stages, we are hoping to be able to return to help at a later date as the construction progresses as everyone agreed that they want to see the final project. The weather cooperated and the rain held off, so it was a great day.

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Church of San Francisco

San Francisco is one of the oldest churches in Antigua, dating from 1579. When we visited recently, I was under the impression that there were only ruins from the old monastery to be seen, but as we arrived, there was a huge procession entering the church and many bombas (fireworks that just make load booms) going off.

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The float being carried into the church is for Hermano Pedro de Betancourt, a Franciscan from the Canary Islands (1626-1667) who is credited with miraculous healing powers. He was made Central America’s first saint by Pope John Paul II in 2002.

His tomb is in the church and there is a museum with a hall of miracles which contains a myriad of crutches, braces and walking sticks from pilgrims, as well as many plaques giving thanks for his services.

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The ruins were quite vast as well. There was much more to be seen than I initially thought, so it was a pleasant surprise.

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La Recolección

Our tour of ruins in Antigua continued with La Recolección, a huge monastery and church that was destroyed by an earthquake only months after its completion in 1717. In 1773, the second version was destroyed in another earthquake.

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