Spanish Students Create Alfombras
Students in Sarah Calle’s Spanish 1B classes have been learning about the tradition of making “alfombras,” the intricate handmade carpets that line the Good Friday procession route during Semana Santa in Antigua, Guatemala. The alfombras are made of various natural materials, such sawdust, fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Artists and locals lay out the alfombras they have made along the procession route, and people walk around admiring the different creations and picking out their favorites. Like the Tibetan Buddhist tradition of creating sand mandalas, the alfombras are created painstakingly by hand, only to be destroyed as the procession walks over them. It’s an act of devotion that the faithful believe will bring them a special blessing.
Sarah’s students drew, designed, and colored their own alfombras, and then wrote about their personal significance in both Spanish and English as it relates to their hopes for the future. Many students reflected on the difficulties of the past year and hoped for health and happiness in the year ahead. As seventh grader Kathy J. wrote in Spanish:
“Mi alfombra representa felicidad por que es muy vistosa. Una bendicion-yo espero que en este ano todos esten sanos y felices. Para mi la alfombra es muy especial por que representa todos las cosas buenas llegan a su fin. Yo pienso esta la alfombra es bonita por que es temporal, representa que no hay nada que dura para siempre. Algunas formas de guardar esperanza son ser positiva, siempre ser feliz para la futura, y ser agradecido para los errores.”
“My carpet represents happiness. A blessing I hope for this year is that everyone stays healthy and happy. For me, the carpet is very special because it represents all the good things that one day will arrive at an end. I think it is beautiful because it is temporal, representing that nothing lasts forever. Some ways to hold on to hope during difficult times are to stay positive, look forward with excitement to the future, and be grateful for errors.”