Good Friday at Pesé

Un actor representando a Jesús carga la cruz.

This post is also available in: Spanish

Good Friday at Pesé. Via Crucis’ reenactments are part of tradition in most Roman Catholic countries and Panama is no exception. Although many places in the capital city have processions, perhaps the most moving representations of the Passion of Christ happen in the interior, specifically in the tiny town of Pese, in Herrera province, four hours from Panama City. Buses can be taken from the Albrook Terminal.

The tradition started in 1954 when Father Jose Luis Angulo arrived in the San Jose de Pese Parish. He noticed that locals were natural actors and proposed the staging of the Via Crucis for Easter week. The rest is history. The procession has now become a tradition in the Herrera province that attracts hundreds of pilgrims every year.

An actor playing Jesus carries the cross.

An actor playing Jesus carries the cross during Good Friday at Pesé.

Since then more than 200 people have participated in this drama which is reminiscent of similar ones in Spain and Mexico. The reenactment is moving, especially the crucifixion of Jesus, which takes place on a hill near the town center, and during the different Stations of the Cross. The public is completely mesmerized by the drama that enfolds before their eyes

Many generations have participated in the dramatizations, not only as actors, but also as stage builders, make-up artists and sound engineers.

Other places where the dramatization of the Via Crucis take place are La Chorrera, Arraijan, and Santiago in Veraguas province, to name just a few. After Good Friday, most towns throw parties to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection.

A good place to stay is Cubitá Boutique Resort Spa, located in Chitre, Herrera province at only 20 minutes from Pese. It is offering a package for $150 a night that includes breakfast, use of the gym, swimming pool, Wi Fi, welcome cocktail, a room with one or two beds and free transfer to Pese to see the Via Crucis. For more information call 978-0200.

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