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Amidst political and economic turmoil, half million gather in Ecuador for Holy Week

The people prayed not only for release of their own problems and challenges, but for the political and economic situation in Ecuador. The faithful also prayed about the country’s prison crisis. [Drugs and gang violence have recently made international headlines after six men were found hanged in an Ecuadorian prison.]

  • 10 months ago
  • April 16, 2023
2 min read
Celebrants gather as authorities manage the crowds at the Church of San Francisco de Quito on Good Friday morning. Celebrants gather as authorities manage the crowds at the Church of San Francisco de Quito on Good Friday morning. | Screenshot courtesy of Cristina Muñoz

ECUADOR, Quito ꟷ Between Quito and Guayaquil, Ecuador, a half million Catholic faithful participated in the Jesús del Gran Poder procession and the Cristo del Consuelo procession during Holy Week. The participants included cucuruchos [Catholic people who wear a purple dress called a Túnica] and verónicas [followers of Saint Veronica, who represent those whom religion view as irredeemable, but are loved and accepted by God.]

An exclusive Orato interview with Pilar del Carmen Carbo Acondo, who details the meaning of the Holy Week events in Ecuador.

The people prayed not only for release of their own problems and challenges, but for the political and economic situation in Ecuador. The faithful also prayed about the country’s prison crisis. [Drugs and gang violence have recently made international headlines after six men were found hanged in an Ecuadorian prison.]

Read more stories from Orato World Media out of Ecuador.

The activities that take place during the Easter season resemble a long history of spiritual practice in Ecuador. In Quito’s colonial era, Christians loitered outside the ancient churches, garbed in prominent purple robes and cones called Cucuruchos. They endured the elements and the criticism of onlookers, facing public scorn or being simply ignored.

See how residents of Toledo, Spain celebrate Holy Week.

Today, the cucuruchos can be seen on Good Friday, walking the streets of Old Town. They do not face harassment or insults today. Instead, spectators report feeling a sense of wonder and admiration. The participants explain the ceremonies bring forth a sense of contemplation, remorse, and penance. The inclusion of this ceremony dates back to 1961 in Quito. Interview subject Pilar del Carmen Carbo Acondo details what the ceremony means to her in this exclusive interview.

Original video interview conducted and recorded by Cristina Muñoz.

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