Cerrito del Carmen

El Santuario de Nuestra Señora del Carmen is the oldest church in the Guatemala City Valley. The Sanctuary was built on top of the Cerrito del Carmen hill after the Genevese penitent Juan Corz brought the religious image of theVirgen del Carmen from Spain and settled for years as a hermit in a cave the outskirts of the City.
After being burnt down and rebuilt around 1620 and have their Virgen del Carmen image stolen in 2001 and miraculously recovered in 2003, the Church will celebrate its 400 years in 2013. Make sure you pay a visit soon!

Photograph and text by: Alejandro Echeverría

© 2012, Myrna Hernandez. All rights reserved.

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  • NYChapin

    oh what a great shot. Half of my short life in Guate was spent in and around the Cerrito. I think I left half of my knees playing futbol in the dusty area to the left of the church. Later they put more giant flower pots and made it a little more difficult to get a full field ( I blamed the Padre for that) When the Clark Tour buses full of tourists used to rumble up the cobblestone road, I would join the rest of the patojos up near the cross and offer to have our picture taken with the gringos. Some times we would get a few “chocas” ( google it in a guate site and be careful not to write “chicas” or you will be in trouble) from them and later a scolding from our parents for being so “atrevidos”. I saw the footsteps of “pie de lana” de chapin Robin Hood and contemplated the tranquil waters of a fountain where the “Llorona” would come at night and wash her hair. After the Quake of 76, I slept with my family on a giant tent. I remember the mariguaneros and locos lurking around. There was a guy who would walk around the park reading a book whitout looking up ( I do the same now). I saw my first muerto there.His eyes were still open, I guess you can spend a lifetime trying to describe that look on his face, but “peaceful” is the word that often comes to mind. First time back after many years gone, I made the mistake of going up the road in a car. It did not feel right. I was there for a wedding, but I what I really wanted to do was to play a chamusca with my cousins. Maybe next time.