Alfombras de Díos

Dear people,

A less political update today, and more of a Holy one. After all, it’s Easter weekend, known here as Semana Santa. A year ago I was getting baptised. This year has been more of a soul searching, and asking having to cover doubts. And why not? How is God All Powerful and All Good in a week of more terrorist attacks in Belgium and Iraq and God knows where else (non-intended pun), done in His name? Why couldn’t God have stopped it if He were All Powerful? Why doesn’t God answer my prayers? Is whatever you, he, she or I are going through really All Good? I remember Stephen Fry having similar questions in a rather robust interview on an Irish talkshow. I’m not being aggressive with my questions. Just everyday doubts, I suppose. If you see God as a symbol of Love or Hope, please don’t think I’m questioning your own relationship with Him. It’s about my own faith. I like to think if you have faith in yourself, God will take care of the rest (if you behave yourself, most of the time).

Having conducted a little Catholic research online, it is interesting to read that the Popes Francis and Benedict invite people to ask questions and have doubts, something to test your faith and have spiritual growth. Mother Teresa and many saints had doubts (not that I’m comparing myself to Mother Teresa or many saints), which is quite a relief because other readings in the Christian faith say that the devil creates doubt (although I think that means faith in oneself), and I don’t really want to go down that road.

I invite your feedback on it, whatever your belief or percieve God to be.

Anyway, back to the main focus of this article, which is about the beautiful carpets of Tegucigalpa. These carpets are laid down every year throughout the Holy Weekend for the Vía Crucis, which is a reinactment of Jesus’s walk with the crucifix that takes place in most neighbourhoods, villages, towns and cities where Catholicism is prominent.

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The main event was in the evening, although Honduras were playing in an important World Cup qualifying game against El Salvador; a match they say once sparked a war, although quite obviously political tensions had been building long before. It was fundamental that Honduras won after losing their previous two games to Mexico and Canada. Unfortunately the Honduras team played rather limply, and drew 2-2 against an inferior team managed by Maradiaga, a Honduran who once coached the Honduran team. It didn’t go down too well when Maradiaga celebrated El Salvador’s goals. Due to Honduras’s weak performance, it’s highly unlikely I’ll be writing for ESPN again any time soon. It’s a huge shame for my bank balance and millions of Hondurans who are devoted, rather over the top at times, to their national team.

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Back to God (because He seems to have forsaken La H. (It sounds like I am twisting a knife in an already painful wound, but Hondurans might have the last laugh when England face Germany in Germany later today)), the carpets are laid down, or more so sprinkled down, using different sand colours down Calle Cervantes in Tegucigalpa’s downtown area. They are works of art. Quite literally. I commented to Pamela and her cousins that I would struggle to draw such designs on paper, let alone carefully sprinkle them in sand in the scorching heat. The patience and time taken must make the artists a nervous wreck, especially with passers-by looking on and bumping into them on the small sidewalks. There is always the threat of an idiot or a dope tumbling on to the carpet and destroying many-an-hour of grafting. I admired the carpets a lot, so vibrant in colour and each one demonstrating a devotion to God. One in Comayagua had one of Berta Caceres’s face. It’s a shame they only leave the carpets there for a couple of days. The thought of cleaning up after terrifies me, and God forbid there be strong gusts of winds. However, the devil on my shoulder tells me it would be quite amusing to observe. It might make the streets a bit more colourful. Tegus could do with a new layer of paint.

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Apparently the carpets are even more spectacular in the former capital Comayagua. We were tinkering with the idea of going, but the thought of spending a wad on petrol, driving in the blazing heat and trying to make our way through thousands of people who attend each year didn’t really appeal to us. I must say, if Comayagua’s carpets are the best, then Tegucigalpa’s are a close second.

About Nicholas Rogers

I am an English journalist/copywriter living in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and I have been here since 2011. I originally came to work with Casa Alianza, which supports street kids and vulnerable youths. I then stayed on, after meeting Pamela Cruz Lozano, who calls me her adopted Catracho. I work freelance journalism and I have my own translation business. Why did I come here? For the challenge, to open my mind and get out of my comfort zone. I love literature and I've written a book with street kids. I write novels, short stories and poetry, all of which you will find on this blog, as well as a lot of information about Honduras. View all posts by Nicholas Rogers

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