Saturday, November 6, 2010


To celebrate the day of the dead, alfombras (or carpets) are made with colored saw dust in the streets of many towns in Central America. We were lucky enough to get to see some of the alfombras in Xela. All of the alfombras were extremely beautiful and detailed. Because this is a religious holiday, they also have religious themes of scripture or picture.

The saw dust is laid while damp so that it is able to keep shape. The shapes are made with stencils or by creating shapes by hand or with knives.

Here are a few more examples of the types of alfombras we found in Xela. 

This one was our favorite ...


  1. Whoa. That is so cool. Those are gorgeous. Question: How do they stay together? Does wind or rain mess them up? How long are they out on the streets and sidewalks?

  2. It takes them about 2 to 4 hours to make each one. They are continuously sprayed with water so that they stay together. They are only out there for the day so the elements don't usually effect them. The carpets stay out until the parade for the holiday walks over them and then they just sweep them up!