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  • Cofradía San Sebastian y San Fabian
    Posted: June 18, 2013 - 2:20pm

    Members of this cofradía walk the streets in costume to collect funds for the feast, serenading the barrio with music and offering a festive atmosphere. Everyone in the neighborhood is expected to contribute to the cost of the festivities.

  • Padre Eterno Cofradía
    Posted: June 18, 2013 - 2:16pm

    The Padre Eterno Cofradía is the oldest confraternity in Izalco, dedicated to God the Eternal Father. It carries on pre-Columbian rituals in a Christian context with festivities held on Trinity Sunday.

  • Lay Organizations
    Posted: June 18, 2013 - 2:15pm

    Often blending Catholicism with indigenous traditions, the confraternities or brotherhoods in Western El Salvador are custodians of religious statues and organizers of annual feasts and processions.

  • Christmas
    Posted: June 18, 2013 - 2:06pm

    Salvadorans are especially fond of setting up decorative crèches with blinking lights. Salvadorans have absorbed American secular representations of Christmas.   

  • Cristo Negro, Juayúa
    Posted: June 18, 2013 - 2:05pm

    The parish church of Santa Lucia in Juayúa, El Salvador is famous for a large colonial-era statue of the Cristo Negro, or Black Christ, which hangs behind the altar of the imposing church. Many people refer to the church not by its official name but as the Cristo Negro church. The blackness of the figure is especially interesting in a colonial context, and in a place where the indigenous people were smaller and brown, but where there were very few people of African origin.

  • Feasts
    Posted: June 18, 2013 - 1:59pm

    While feasts, shrines and lay confraternities may be distinct phenomena in many cultures, they all come together through the cofradías, the lay confraternities that help define Catholic life in parts of in Western El Salvador.

  • Family, Marriage & Gender Roles
    Posted: June 18, 2013 - 1:58pm

    Economic challenges have played a part in the changing family structures — single parenthood has become the norm while many partners leave El Salvador for better work opportunities.

  • Death, Mourning & the Afterlife
    Posted: June 18, 2013 - 1:34pm

    In El Salvador one often sees reminders of the reality of death, including in religious images, roadside crosses that mark places of death, and elaborately decorated rural cemeteries.

  • Coming of Age
    Posted: June 18, 2013 - 1:29pm

    Families mark the young women’s coming of age on her 15th birthday with a celebration known as a fiesta rosa or quinceañera.

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