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I have been working in a community of migrants from a neighboring state of Zacatecas just outside of the Guadalajara community of San Martin de los Flores since January. The 140 families make bricks by hand and live in extreme poverty. That story is still in progress….however, last week, Rosa, the family matriarch told me that for more than 200 years this week during Semana Santa (Holy week) there is a huge festival in San Martin de los Flores, where the crucifixion of Christ is reenacted.
So, I went, spent a full day in the full sun, and watched a play which felt as though it were acted out in real time as actors used the entire center of town in front of thousands of people throughout most of the day. Around 6:30 the actors follow as Christ and his followers carry a huge wooden cross about a kilometer up a small hill where they are crucified. When Mexicans perform a reenactment, they take it to the nth degree. In a procession of the Virgin of Guadalalupe last September, reenactors whipped each other with full force. In this reenactment, the crowd was the factor, with thousands of people packed on a dusty-footing hillside, all trying to get a glimpse of Christ. Pushing, shoving and yelling all around! Media included.