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.
"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.
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:
"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.