The Contrast: Good Friday on Ambergris Caye

Ambergris Caye feels like it is growing by the minute.  When I look back on just my 15 years on the island – it’s startling.  I can only imagine someone who was born here 40…50 or even 60 years ago…the population has exploded…buildings, high rises (we now have a 6 story building still under construction just north of the bridge), the west side…the growth from tiny fishing village to tourism mecca must be overwhelming at times.

So it’s not surprising to see the traditional side-by-side with the modern.  Old wooden homes on stilts within a stone’s throw of new flashy glass-plated resorts.  But yesterday – as many observed the most solemn day in the Christian calendar, Good Friday – others were out and about enjoying the beach and the sun – this contrast – the dichotomy was at its most stark.  An interesting balance (and a hot debate every year) between piety and partying.  Tradition and capitalism.

But it was even more apparent this year – as the church and members recreated The Passion of Christ – the Crucifixion.  These two incredible photos are by Marlena Gomez.  Please see her Photography page for more beautiful pictures of the event.

I wrote a list of the 10 Things You Need to Know About the Easter Week on Ambergris Caye earlier this week.  Quite a few of the 10 have to do with Good Friday.  It is, by law, a dry day around Belize.  No liquor is sold.  Bars and restaurants are closed.  Even the bars at the International Airport.  But San Pedro, to try to find a balance between those who want to observe sacred traditions and those who want to open their businesses for the many visitors on the island, used these rules this year.

A bit tricky…

Many places in town were closed yesterday – but not all.  I started my morning at the camp – and here are some of the snapshots I took.  I hope you are all having a great Easter weekend – whether it means sun and fun to you – or church and family – or something in between.

I’m heading to the dentist in an hour – to have an old filling re-drilled and replaced.  Nothing says Easter like novocaine!

It’s gotta be done.  (It’s part of trying to push myself out of what I call “expat denial” – but that’s a whole different topic)

Back to yesterday, my Good Friday.

Coffee at the camp.

Jeff headed out early to town to drop off guests for an all-day fishing/beach BBQ trip (no one turned into a mermaid!)…his faithful dog MoMo waiting for him.  The other dogs (Frannie and Ginger) were in the back…in the mangroves and the mud flushing out iguanas.

We headed into town…the water…so beautiful.  (This is on the west side of the island near the area called Bracilete)

I headed over to Belize Chocolate to get my boost of Easter spirit.

How beautiful are these eggs?

By “boost of Easter spirit”, I mean cake.  I love this cheesecake and the tiny slice is just perfect.

We all know how a full sized slice of cheesecake can make you need a nap IMMEDIATELY.

I headed over to Central Park where the crosses for the evening procession were being erected.  This is the first time (in my memory) that the church has re-enacted the Crucifixion.

And then up at Boca Del Rio Park…where the big party will take place.

The stage was going up.

Now that it’s Saturday, the real partying can begin.

Stay safe everyone!

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