Holy Week is an experience in the small towns dotted throughout the state of Chihuahua. A curious blend of native traditions and codified Catholicism are at play. Surrounding the chapel at Guadalupe Coronado, a procession of worshipers carry candles and walk in an organized line through the church, out the back, and around to the front again.
They do this for a complete twenty-four-hour cycle, without sleep, or food, or water.
This photograph was taken around two o’clock in the morning.
The Iglesia Catolica Nuestra Señora de Lourdes (the catholic church of Our Lady of Lourdes) sits on the north side of Creel’s central plaza. Tarahumara women weave baskets and sew while children run around playing or begging for pesos to buy candy with. Stray dogs circle around waiting for people to drop food.
This is the hub of the town, fifty yards from the train and bus stations, the gateway to the main road and its restaurants and hotels. Ice cream carts, kids kicking soccer balls, and street vendors practically live here. What I always appreciated about this town square, though, is that the sellers aren’t aggressive. It isn’t like a border town, or a European train station, where desperate hucksters are waiting to coax money out of your pocket. The street sellers here sit on benches, or on the ground, and mind their business, hoping you will approach them. You never feel like people are out to get you in this place. It’s just a polite open-air market.