… a travel photography blog

Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe – Virgins, Kids and Indigenous Costumes

Every 12th of December in Guatemala on the Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe children throughout the country dress up in colorful, traditional indigenous costumes and carry an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe in local processions. Usually marimba and hordes of traditional food stalls go with the festivities.

Originating in Mexico after the Spanish conquest, when the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to an indigenous peasant, the custom continues throughout the Americas.

In Antigua the celebrations take place in front of the beautiful baroque church of La Merced. Rustic mini-scenes backed by painted images of the Virgin are set up in front of the church and parents pose their children for photographers. Tiny replicas of adults, the boys have mustaches painted on their faces and the girls little baskets tied to their heads. Each scene has a variety of typical Guatemalan everyday items for the children to use as props including miniature marimba, tortillas on a comal, model horses and a strange collection of live chickens and toy tigers.


La Merced church on the Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe.




Colorful images of the Virgin.















Chickens, tigers and children live together in harmony.



The decorated façade of La Merced church.



The Virgin of Guadalupe inside the church.



Close up of the Virgin of Guadalupe.



Another image of the Virgin inside the church.



Musicians playing outside the church entrance.



Marimba musicians outside the church shrouded in smoke from cooking food.


Children dressed up in traditional indigenous costumes.











A painted mustache smile.



Little girl with a tiny basket on her head.





Playing a miniature marimba.




Not everyone posed happily.




Selling zebra and butterfly shaped balloons.











































2 responses

  1. These are so beautiful, love the way you arranged them and all the photos of the little kids, you captured the celebrations perfectly 🙂

    December 31, 2010 at 10:02 am

    • Thanks Nat, it was a really great day for photos!

      December 31, 2010 at 10:55 pm

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