On our first morning in Antigua, we woke up to noisy birds outside of our rental villa we were sharing with our new friends from A King’s Life. It’s amazing to me how easy it is to be instant friends with someone you have never met in person before. We had recently chatted online and read each other’s blogs, but the previous day was the first time we had met the King family! We were instant friends!  We spent the night before walking through the city and getting some street eats.

This morning we packed up our combined 5 kids and wandered over to the Antigua Market. WOW is all that I could use to explain it! It is the largest indoor market we have come across in our travels, so far…which is to say it is BIG! First we found the food, and we immediately regretted eating junk food at a joint just 10 minutes prior. Endless delicious dishes stared us in the face!




We kept wandering through the narrow isles, trying to keep our children from disappearing among the crowds of people and booths. We picked up some freshly-sliced mangos and cucumbers (and immediately found ourselves missing our Mexican staple of limes and chili sauce…where was it in Guatemala?!).



Loved the little children hanging around their parent’s booths in their traditional clothing!


We continued on our way and found the rows and rows of produce in a more open part of the market.



We entered the far end of the market, which was wide and open and filled with flowers. We sat down to rest, and waited for our friends from Discover Share Inspire to arrive after ditching their broken-down truck and catching a chicken bus to meet us at the market (read about their day here)!



They arrived, and a happy reunion ensued. We had missed them so much (you can catch up on some of our favorite travels together in Mexico–herehere, and here!).

We set off now as a large group of 6 nomadic adults and 10 children, plodding the wide cobblestone streets of Antigua.

We walked through the main plaza in Antigua, and marveled at the pro-nursing fountain (look closely)…





We found a group working on a sawdust carpet in preparation of the Semana Santa (Easter Holy Week) celebrations and processions that would happen later that night. We marveled in the detail the artists put into these temporary murals that carpeted the streets.




They occasionally watered down the carpets to keep them from blowing away!


Are these carpets not STUNNING?!  Made from pine needles, fresh flowers, saw dust, fruit, and sometimes even sand!


Wow—a family shot where everyone is LOOKING! A miracle!


We next toured through ruins of old chapels and buildings that had been destroyed in earthquakes in Antigua’s history. As individual families, we stand out plenty among the sea of dark heads and dark skin in this part of the world…but as a large group of gringos, we certainly made heads turn even more than usual!


This old chapel was constructed in 1545, then demolished 1668, then reconstructed in 1669 and then destroyed in an earthquake in 1773! It stands side-by-side, among all of the other buildings in Antigua, still bearing its empty ceilings (domes that collapsed) and beautiful fine details that have lasted 240 years so far!





The ice cream guys!


Other street-side snacks…


Water? Skip the bottles…it comes bagged here!


Pretty soon we found ourselves hungry again, so we stopped for some snacks in a small, seemingly forgotten (and grassless) park that had a large crowd growing nearby to watch a reenactment of the trial of Jesus before his crucifixion.


While we ate, the babies played in the dirt. Before we knew it, a large group had circled our fair-skinned babies and was snapping photos of them like they were a larger attraction than the costumed men on horses!


One woman came up to me and proceeded to warn me about how dirty the dirt was, and that I really needed to clean him up (which we did to the best of our ability–eventually). We wondered–how dirty can the dirt REALLY be? It’s dirt!


Maybe we should have listened? Ethan ended up throwing up all night…but was over it by the next day. I guess locals know what they’re talking about 😉

We had such a fantastic day with wonderful friends who have been some of our closest confidants in the past year!

I love these people! It is so important to be with people who build you up, challenge you to grow and improve, and share your ideals.

Well–this group fits the bill (and that’s an understatement)! Thank you to A Kings Life and Discover Share Inspire for being our friends!

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To end the day we took the truck-less (homeless) Dennings back to our shared villa for the night! We made room for them, and happily celebrated Rachel’s birthday in style!

The biggest celebrations for Semana Santa would be starting in the wee hours of the next morning, and would bring with it sights and sounds that will never be diminished from our memories!

Coming soon…I promise!

8 Responses to “Semana Santa in Antigua with Friends”

  1. Wow! Look how little our children look compared to 1 year later! Simply amazing at the changes we all made.

    Love you guys!

  2. Wow Antigua looks stunning, so colorful and vibrant. It’s somewhere I’d love to visit. I used to sell tours to visit Antigua and always felt jealous of all the tourists who got to visit and not me – maybe one day!

  3. I love the “carpets” – wow! And I’m wondering if the dirt has passing animals…. hence dirtier than dirt?!?! Poor kid. Glad he recovered quick!

    • Aren’t the carpets amazing? That’s the funny thing about the dirt…I don’t know how many animals would be passing through the grass-less park INSIDE the town? It’s not on the outskirts where I would expect more creatures! Who knows?!

  4. SHELLY COLE says:

    Hi, I REALLY Enjoyed this reading. I have a question. MOST Of the carpets look like just made with sawdust and some kind of collorant. jUST THE ONE Picture shows where it would be flowers, pine needles sand and sawdust. Saying that, I would really love to know what the OTHER Carpets are made up of….the ones that are JUST Sawdust and color. What is used to make those BRIGHT Colores….is it dried paint? I want to know indeed. Please write to me anytime as I really want to know and I do not want to miss seeing your comment. You can write me a KnowWhatMomKnows@Gmail.Com
    Shelly Cole is my Name and my YouTube Channel is:

  5. SHELLY COLE says:

    Wow,Thanks for getting back to me. I did some more research about it and found out some of what they use is sand, rice, flowers and pine needles….lol….and sawdust….the old natural way of making this carpet was to use ALL NATURAL Colors….like from nuts and berries etc….however the NEW Kids….lol…or maybe lazy, started using commercial dyes….they gave up on the WORK It took to extract the colors from the many things in nature. I asked due to I have been doing my OWN Experiments over the last 2 years working with sawdust….as this is my number one passion after God and Family….I love sawdust so very much…..I have developed finally a NEW Art form that I will be showing on my youtube channel with a TEASER Video going out this week…after that ppl will see project after project utilizing sawdust. I also was a home-school teacher many years ago…I am old now….lol…but this is totally the kind of thing I would of done with my kids…anywhoo…I asked because the one thing I have NOT done as of yet is those carpets of sawdust….so…NOW I have a challenge on my hands…..lol…I have got to try making a carpet…but the old fashioned way….I am one of those ones that love all that is old…saying that…I have also done my fair share of koolaid creations….lol…but I respect the past so much. I am NOT Trying to do a sales pitch for my channel…I just invite you to check it out in the near future as I think it would very much interest you since you know what it is like to work with sawdust….I am a woodworker and have lots of sawdust…I have bags and bags of it…if you ever find you are in need of some….please let me know….I also will be selling………eventually…..The supplies for ppl to use sawdust in the new art I developed. I am so excited that I got to talk to you…I have never met anybody who has worked with sawdust other then myself. You have seen those pretty carpets in person too….oh wow…how thrilling. Thanks for taking the time to talk to me. I hope you have the Very BEST Day Ever!!!
    Shelly Cole
    ps…I am NOT Selling any of my products or sawdust…I did not say these things to sell to you, just so you know. The future is wide open and yes, down the road I will sell, but I am also excited about simply sharing and helping others find joy in sawdust as I have done. So yes, I mean this, if you ever need some sawdust, please ask. also please be sure to remind me where I met you at….I have a large subscriber base and I do NOT Make this free offer of sawdust to just anybody…it simply tickles me that you are a homeschooling and have worked with sawdust. GOD BLESS YOU 🙂

    • I don’t have a clue how they dye them, although I recently tried to recreate the dyed sawdust for a homeschool activity. I used food coloring and water, and it was a LOT of work and color that was required. It was particularly difficult to get the bright yellows. Whatever they do—it’s an art!


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