The wonder of nativity scenes in Guatemala
Nativity scenes appear in all Catholic churches and many homes throughout Guatemala this time of year. First created by St. Francis of Assisi in 1223, the first Spanish residents brought the tradition from Spain in 1524. Santo Hermano Pedro made them very popular in the 1625 and today they are great fun to see! With the central figures of St. Joseph, the Virgin Mary, and the baby Jesus later appearing at midnight on Christmas Eve, local nativity scenes, or nacimientos, also include volcanoes, rivers, mountains, huts or ranchitos and an array of local flora and fauna that add the Guatemalan touch to them.
To highlight these nacimientos, many enjoy the ceramic figures created by the Rodenas family in Antigua. Now on their sixth generation of working elaborate nativity figures and painted clay decorations, these painted clay nacimientos are my favorite! Clara Luz de Rodenas, in the photo, been creating these works of art for decades and is so happy that her son and grandson continue in this century old tradition! Their works are available just inside the ruins of the Cathedral!
We wish everyone a happy holiday season and invite you to do a Nacimiento Tour on your own! Favorites include that of San José Catedral (featured in the photo), the Obras Sociales del Santo Hermano Pedro, San Francisco Church and La Merced Church!