Religious Tourism in Mazatlán and the Nearby Towns During Holy Week

Crucifix over MZT

I took this photo during the Vía Crucis/Stations of the Cross of PAJUMA Mazatlán (Diocesan youth group). It is taken from the top of the lighthouse after the celebration of an open-air mass. Unfortunately this event does not happen every year.

When I arrived in México I couldn’t wait to participate in some of the incredible Holy Week religious events that I had so long heard about and seen—especially those that re-create Jesus’ long walk to the cross, the Via Dolorosa.

Because our son is still in school, we can’t travel while classes are in session. So, we take advantage of the school break to see some of this gorgeous country, and thus we are usually out of town and miss these great events locally. We have had the pleasure of participating in Holy Week ceremonies in the states of Chihuahua (Copper Canyon) with the Tarahumara, Zacatecas, Guanajuato, and Michoacán among a few others…

Do you know that there is a long tradition of beautiful Holy Week events right here in Mazatlán and the surrounding towns? Kindly, our friends over at Mazatlán Interactivo have agreed to permit us to use their photos and legwork to share with you some of what is available right here in southern Sinaloa.

The biggest events locally take place on Good Friday, which this year falls on March 29, 2013. The reenactments of the crucifixion are generally held late in the morning. These involve members of local parishes dressing up in period costume and acting out the 14 Stations of the Cross. This can get very graphic, with realistically simulated whipping, nailing of hands and feet, and bleeding. It is a beautiful and very moving sight to behold, and I highly recommend you experience it. The actors’ lines come directly from Bible verses.

In some communities there is also a Procession of Silence  after darkness sets in on Good Friday. Members of the community process through the streets holding lit candles and religious relics. Often there is solemn music and the procession is followed by a mass.


Mazatlán
Here in Mazatlán the Diocesan youth group annually conducts PAJUMA (Pascua Juveníl de Mazatlán) a three-day event that takes place in the baseball stadium Estadio Teodoro Mariscal on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday (March 28-30, 9 am – 7 pm each day). The full three days’ attendance is only 50 pesos, and there is no age limit on participation. The kids reenact the crucifixion of Christ there in the stadium and then, still fully dressed, process from the stadium to the cathedral.

MARCH 29, Good Friday, 5:00 pm
Procession of Silence
PAJUMA participants will leave the baseball stadium at 5:00 and head out to the cathedral of the Immaculate Conception downtown, passing by the Aquarium, along the malecón (not many places in the world you can see a Way of the Cross enacted along the oceanfront!), the Fisherman’s Monument, and the pangas in Playa Norte. The procession will then turn left and go down through Plaza Zaragoza to the cathedral.

MARCH 30, Holy Saturday, 5:00 pm and 6:00 pm
Mass of the Resurrection of our Lord, and then the closing of Pascua Juveníl de Mazatlán. Entrance is free after 5:00.

Pretty much every church in the city will have Stations of the Cross on Good Friday, and a vigil with foot washing Thursday evening. Plus, of course, Easter mass. Some congregations reenact the Vía Crucis as well; check with your local parish. Mouseover a photo above to view the caption, or click on one to view the slideshow.

Cosalá (172 km from MZT)
MARCH 29, Good Friday, 11:00 am
Traditional Stations of the Cross, in the church

MARCH 29, Good Friday, 7:00 pm
Procession of Silence

Mouseover a photo below to view the caption, or click on one to view the slideshow.

 

Malpica (Concordia; 38 km from MZT)
MARCH 29, Good Friday, 11:00 am
Reenactment of the crucifixion of Christ, starting from the moment Judas Iscariot kisses him and Jesus is apprehended into custody in the Garden of Gesthemane.

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Viacrucis escénica en Malpica. Photo courtesy Mazatlán Interactivo

Matatán (Rosario; 82 km from MZT)
MARCH 29, Good Friday, 11:00 am
Reenactment of the crucifixion of Christ as he made his way to Golgotha.

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Viacrucis representativa en San Ignacio. Photo courtesy Mazatlán Interactivo

San Ignacio (111 km from MZT)
Our good friends, the reason we ended up loving and living in Mazatlán in the first place, are originally from San Ignacio. It is a gorgeous small town with a huge image of Christ on the hill.

MARCH 29, Good Friday, 11:00 am
Reenactment of the crucifixion of Christ, the Via Dolorosa or Way of the Cross.

MARCH 29, Good Friday, 7:00 pm
Procession of Silence (with music)

Mouseover a photo below to view the caption, or click on one to view the slideshow.

Teacapán (Escuinapa; 130 km from MZT)
MARCH 29, Good Friday, 10:00 am
Reenactment of the crucifixion of Christ and his walk to Calvary.

Travelogue Spring Break 2011, Day 6, Holy/Maundy Thursday: Zacatecas

The kids slept in again this morning, so Greg and I took a walk around the Centro Histórico and found a nice little crepería, “Magic Kreep.” They made the most perfect cup of cappuccino. And, you know, in Guanajuato and now here, too, they have cappuccino everywhere, and it’s 20 pesos or so. Can’t Mazatlán do that? We enjoyed reading the paper and having some adult time.

Today was Danny’s day to be tour guide, and he wasn’t feeling so well. Seems he’s fighting a cold or something—body aches. But, he did a good job guiding us around today, first to the Artisan Market that is in the former “González Ortega” public market. The building, as most of them here in Zacatecas, is gorgeous. Inside are little kiosk-like stalls with loads of pewter, silver and gold jewelry, leather ware, charería clothing and accessories and knick-knacks.

From the market Danny had us walk over to the Pedro Coronel Museum, as I was really excited to see the Dalís, Mirós, Picassos, Chagals, Degases… and also to show such terrific international caliber art to the kids. It is unreal to me to have such incredible caliber art in such an intimate, local setting. Beautiful. The museum is a gorgeous building, a former Jesuit (San Luis Gonzaga) college, and the art was sensational. Danny and Mara both seemed to really enjoy looking around, and Danny took quite a few notes as well. The kids are growing up and finding their interests!

We took a break for a drink in a café restaurant called Olimpus or something like that—very old and not very clean. From there we tried to go into the churriguereque-facaded, eight gold altar-adorned Santo Domingo church and the cathedral, but the doors were all locked! So, back to the hotel for a respite it was!

We ate a late lunch at La Traviata, a pizza-pasta place near our hotel. Danny loved his pesto; he’s getting sooooo ready for Lent to be over so he can eat meat/fish/poultry again! He’s done great with the vegetarianism, but boy is his carnivore ready to come out!

We have really enjoyed walking around the alleyways and streets of this gorgeous city. There are so many artists and craftspeople selling their wares, and today Greg bought a gorgeous pendant carved and painted from bamboo.

Tonight there was a reenactment of the Last Supper and the events in the Garden of Gethsemene, including Judas’ kiss and the arrest of Jesus. We wanted to go, but it was just too much for us. I guess it will be left to our imagination for another year!

Around 9 we walked over to the former bullfight ring, the Quinta Real Hotel, for a drink.  It is the only hotel in the world, they say, that is in a former bullring, and it is stunning. To add to the beauty, it is located right next to the old “El Cubo” aqueduct.  We had such a nice time walking all around the hotel/bullring, and sitting out on the balcony gazing at the view. Tonight there was a Christie’s art auction going on, so we had some added people-watching.