The past two weekends, Joel and I have spent time in Zone 1 with visitors – first my dear Uncle Teunis, and then Jessie, a friend who lives in Costa Rica. Both times, we saw processions or people preparing carpets for the processions. Both times, we wandered over to the area in front of the National Palace to spend time at the memorial for the girls who died in the fire. We pray, we remember, we mourn the tragedy.
The two experiences together have been very powerful for me – the beauty of Lent, of remembering Jesus’s suffering, is that it gives voice to the suffering of others, in this case, the girls.
As the statue of Jesus carrying his cross was carried by the park, I couldn’t help but think, “We hear you. We see you. All 41 of you. You will not be forgotten, nor were you alone in your suffering. I’m sorry I didn’t know before, but I know now. I will act.”
If you happen to be in Guatemala, I recommend getting down to Z1 and spending time at the memorial remembering in whatever way is most comfortable to you – for me, it’s a deeply spiritual experience – it may not be that experience for everyone, but I believe that remembering and acknowledging suffering is important and opens a door for healing.
Some pictures –