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Guatemala, Chichicastenango

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Back in November 2019 we traveled to Guatemala.
During religious celebrations I made this shot as the woman looked up the festive rockets.

What a spiritual picture!

It’s quite exceptional and an inspiration. It’s as near to holy as it might get.

The sharp drawing of the woman and the soft indistinct ground makes this a “God-shot”, as if we are seeing her as the angels might!


Antonio Correia

Well-known member
What is curious is that we were under a shed which was covered with ceramic tiles. It was opened all around with a kind of a table at the center.
So, my wife, other people and myself we were at the limits of the area.
The table had been used for fire and having no chimney and while raining, some soot fall on us as the water was passing through the tiles.
Here is another one of the same place.
Thank you Maggie ! I am sorry if I am posting twice the same photo...
Let me try another one.

no, no, Antonio. I'm happy to see an image that I found fantastic and was glad to see it once again. I remembered it well because it left an impression me. This one is also incredible. It is so different from where I cam from. I look at the grass and the white tufts just under the name and I can only speculate what they mean. Then to see the cup underneath ? Is that an offering? I would have to do some research to understand. Wonderful images!

Antonio Correia

Well-known member
Than kyou for commenting Maggie ! :)
From the Wikipedia
"The Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de Muertos or Día de los Muertos) is a Mexican holiday celebrated in Mexico and elsewhere associated with the Catholic celebrations of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day, and is held on November 1 and 2. The multi-day holiday involves family and friends gathering to pray for and to remember friends and family members who have died. It is commonly portrayed as a day of celebration rather than mourning..."
Here is another one hoping I have not posted it before :unsure:


Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief

We have those celebrations here too by Hispanics from South America resident in California.

I have to did up my pictures!


Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
I don't know...
It looks like someone is repainting all their family markers. Often families tend to bury relatives close by.


if one had a whole gallon of paint it’s easy to cover several adjacent graves. Obviously, hans troweled concrete is cheaper than chiseled granite or marble. So these gravestones seem to be made by family or friends with basic house building materials.

Antonio Correia

Well-known member
Thank you all for the comments.
I don't know what is going on but I do not receive any mails when you comment...never mind. I come here from time to time.
This is a photo of the way to the cemetery. After a few hours the rain was falling.
I did a bit on research on National Geography about the colors especially. It seems that they use white for purity, turquoise for protection and yellow for the sun's life force. Other colors are used to pay homage to the favorite colors the deceased. The colors are bright and by so honoring the dead they are encouraging the living to make peace with the inevitability of death.

Although it seems very cheerful, the sad thing is that tombs are on lease, so rent needs to be paid every year. Very poor families cannot always pay, so gravediggers exhume the bodies, put them in plastic trash bags and bury them in mass graves.

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Thanks, Antonio anf Maggie!

This set of incredibly magnetic pictures also, by sheer chance, (of my own inquisitiveness and Maggie’s detective work), reveals a language of colors of mourning and remembrance!

But the threat of trashing bodies is uncivilized! It shows, once again, the rape of native ancient cultures by the colonists.


imagine the constant threat of ones loved and revered deceased relative or beloved, being exhumed like trash!

The people here are miraculous survivors of one of the most terrible mass genocides. Perhaps 8 million people and over 100 cultures erased from memory and now everyone praises the invaders god and are proud to speak Spanish or Portuguese!

I too would be proud of these languages if Ifrom the lands of Spain or Portugal!

I mourn for these native peoples as much as for the leadership and scholarship of medieval Portugal and Spain.

I wonder how many native language revival movements there might be? What a cultural loss!


Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
There are approx 300 native Americas languages of the America’s, each spoken by at few as just 2 people and up to 6 million max.

Most often they’re secondary to English, French, Dutch, Spanish or Portuguese Colonialist official languages.


Antonio, your documentary pictures are so important. We can feel for these villagers through your great photography.

Thanks so much!


Antonio Correia

Well-known member
Thank you for all the comments ! :)
Today I "re-worked" the picture bellow. With layers active 1,24 GB ! o_O I will merge them ASAP. If ever I will change anything I will start from scratch.
This is the first image I have used orange and blue gradient maps. However, the final result doesn't change very much the mood of the picture but rather intensifies the ambience according to my taste. I couldn't remove the dam tourists ! They were too many ! :LOL:
This is as you can see inside a church in Chichicastenango. Others will follow of the people outside.