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Semana Santa in Totonicapán, Guatemala

Semana Santa in Totonicapán, Guatemala

Semana Santa, or the Holy Week of Easter, is a hugely important celebration in all of Latin America, and Guatemala has its own special traditions. In Totonicapán, home of the Catrinka Girls Project, it is celebrated in many ways, from baking Easter bread:

.. to reenacting the fight between those that protected Jesus and those that betrayed him, known locally as los cinturones (the belts) vs. los judios (the Jews):

What Semana Santa in Guatemala is most famous for are processions, and colorful sawdust carpets that are laid painstakingly on the streets where processions will pass, and thousands of feet will brush them away. 

At 1 am on Easter Sunday, the first procession, of the Lord entombed, concludes. 

In the morning, it is followed by the procession  of Jesus Nazareno.

In the afternoon, women young and old line up to carry la Virgen de Dolores (the Virgin of Sadness) on their shoulders in her procession. 

April 19, 2017 by Megan Reilly Cayten
"Me and the Sky": A Little Girl Dreamed of Flying, and Made History

"Me and the Sky": A Little Girl Dreamed of Flying, and Made History

"She was a girl who dreamed of flying. A woman who broke barriers in commercial aviation. And then a pilot ordered to divert a trans-Atlantic jet to Gander, Newfoundland, during the unfolding terror of September 11, 2001."

Get to know Beverley Bass, the Broadway show about her life, and the bond she has formed with the actress who plays her onstage, via the New York Times

April 19, 2017 by Megan Reilly Cayten
"JessZilla" the 10-year old boxing phenom (who is a girl)

"JessZilla" the 10-year old boxing phenom (who is a girl)

 

Jesselyn "JessZilla" Silva is a 10 year old rockstar boxer, who is a girl. Her father Pedro is her #1 supporter, though he still gets nervous every time she spars. "It takes a lot of courage to get in there. A lot of people, they're just not built for that. I can say that I'm not built for boxing. She is, and she's a girl." He worries about her getting hurt if she goes pro.

Jesselyn says being a girl in boxing is harder than being a boy, because there aren't any girls to spar with, and the boys are afraid to get beat by a girl. Jesselyn's #1 goal in her dream calendar is to win a gold medal in the 2024 Olympics. Says Jesselyn: "I never ever, ever ever ever, maybe like 100 evers, feel like anything's too difficult for me."

Read more via the New York Times and watch the Op-Doc below:

April 19, 2017 by Megan Reilly Cayten
Women's Empowerment Starts at the Bank

Women's Empowerment Starts at the Bank

"Up to 95% of women in developing countries are employed informally without legal protections, and many are self-employed. Female entrepreneurs also face higher interest rates, struggle with poor credit history and are less likely to take out a loan, because their entire lives exist outside the formal banking system. The IFC estimates that, collectively, women-owned businesses around the world are faced with as much as $320 billion in unmet financing needs.

"Women who control their income hold higher positions within their homes and are more likely to make informed decisions regarding their children’s health and education. Women who formally save their earnings are also up to 10 times more likely to invest in their families and communities than men are, highlighting their added social impact."

Read more about the importance of financial inclusion for women's empowerment in emerging markets via Time

April 19, 2017 by Megan Reilly Cayten
A Women-Led Booze Ban Changes Bihar, India

A Women-Led Booze Ban Changes Bihar, India

"Only when you have the women behind you can you succeed."
April 17, 2017 by Megan Reilly Cayten
The New Yorker Cover Women Are Replicating Around the World

The New Yorker Cover Women Are Replicating Around the World

“Women surgeons are saying to other women surgeons, ‘I see you,’ and to the world, ‘See us.’ ”
April 14, 2017 by Megan Reilly Cayten
You Have Time

You Have Time

..."If you are in your 30s or 40s, this column is my birthday gift to you."
April 11, 2017 by Megan Reilly Cayten
Green is the New Black

Green is the New Black

Did you know that the fashion industry is the second largest polluter on the planet, after fossil fuels?
April 08, 2017 by Megan Reilly Cayten
Men Bet She Would Fail; Now She Runs a $26 billion Fund

Men Bet She Would Fail; Now She Runs a $26 billion Fund

From the moment Dawn Fitzpatrick stepped onto the American Stock Exchange trading floor as a clerk in 1992, she sensed that the odds were against her.
April 08, 2017 by Megan Reilly Cayten
The Greatest War Photographer You've Never Heard of

The Greatest War Photographer You've Never Heard of

"One of the few female combat photographers in the war was also the most daring."
March 29, 2017 by Megan Reilly Cayten