Cozumel’s Passion Play
It’s Semana Santa (Easter week) here on the island of Cozumel. And, with Mexico having one of the world’s largest Catholic populations, it is quite a sight to behold. Between the crowds of tourists (I hear we have 90% occupancy) and the crowds of the faithful, let’s just say that it’s a good idea to give yourself some extra time before going anywhere. But, in this case, I consider myself quite fortunate since I live directly across the street from a large Catholic church in the so-called Corpus Christi neighborhood. That gives me the extra benefit of easily walking over to photograph one of the local customs, the Passion Play.
For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, the Passion Play is a reenactment of the trials and suffering that Jesus endured just prior to the crucifixion. Now, this is not to be confused with “The Passion Play,” which, up north, is also a dramatic interpretation of the same events, but that play uses professional actors. Our little production consists solely of devout parishioners dressed in homemade clothing to depict the historical time period. These folks may indeed share the passion, but little to no formal training is either expected, or required, which leads to a sense of reality that I, personally, enjoy. Picture this: altar boys, dressed in white and carrying candle, are then followed by Christ, joined by the two men who were crucified along with him, and all are led down the road by Roman guards while Mary and the devout walk behind. The guards soon stop, flog him, and force him to wear a crown of thorns and carry a wooden cross. Today this procession was also followed by well over a hundred local folks and a pickup truck with loud speakers that played somber music. It really is quite an event to see.
Now, without me rambling on any further, I think I’ll just let my photos tell the rest of the story. I’ll start with a few faces in the crowd, work up to the nervous antics of the participants just prior to the event, and will end with the Christ, himself. I hope you enjoy and let me also take a moment to wish all of you a meaningful, and peaceful, weekend.