La Laguna is already experiencing Holy Week. The reading of the proclamation, last Thursday, marks the starting signal for the celebration of the great days of the religious festival in the municipality. Brotherhoods and brotherhoods prepare the last details for their processions, which began yesterday. This year finally in complete normality, without masks or safety distance.
In La Cuesta, the bearers, men and women, of the squad of the Brotherhood and Brotherhood of María Santísima de los Dolores have been rehearsing for a month around their parish of Nuestra Señora de La Paz y Unión, carrying the throne and the canopy in which the image will go, taking the rhythm of the step and adapting their body to the weight that they will carry during the four hours that the procession lasts and the ceremony of the Encounter with the image of Our Father Jesus Captive, which will take place on the 4th of April, Holy Tuesday, and that each year gains in expectation and faithful.
“The canopy has to go according to our pace and we have to rehearse with it because it is important at the time of the procession, so that everything is in unison. The tests are never done with the image, but we do put bags of cement to simulate a bit the approximate weight that we are going to have”, explains Román Alejandro Rodríguez Álamo, better known as Alex, older brother of the brotherhood, costalero and waiter of the virgin. He stresses the importance of these rehearsals so that “the body adapts, take the step, know the processional marches, but the most important thing is to know where each one goes, because those of us who are taller go in the front, and the shorter in the back. Although from the outside, when we are standing, the step looks straight because the trabajaderas, which are the poles with which we carry, are designed in such a way that they go downwards”.
Another fundamental moment of the essay, as he recounts, is the entrance and exit of the parish, which has to be done on all fours carrying the step “because it does not fit through the door, and at the moment of exit and entrance they only stay 12 to 14 people under the step on all fours, and all the weight we carry on our backs. On the outside there are always our colleagues watching the descent and the ascent and helping us to stabilize our pace”.
The older brother recognizes that it is hard and that you have to be in shape and not have any kind of injury to be able to keep pace. “You have to have a fund because if not, you can’t stand it, especially in our procession, which lasts almost four hours and sometimes up to five. And, furthermore, the orography of La Cuesta has its own difficulty, here there are descents and ascents”, he points out, although he affirms that “in the end it is a set of emotions that make you do it, feel and enjoy it”.
“When one of the foremen told me that if I wanted to be a costalero, he told me: “If you really feel what it feels like under the step carrying the virgin, if you really feel the reward there is, you will never want to get out from under it. one step”. And indeed that was what happened to me – he relates -, what one feels under the throne, having your companions by your side, whom you hear suffer, complain, and in the end it is a moral support among all, and the The reward that you get, apart from faith in Jesus and Mary and demonstrating it on the street, is a set of emotions. And when you go below, you see how emotional people are, I saw my grandmother and that moved me so much, that she saw the virgin and knew that I was costalero”.
This year, the image will procession with its usual throne and with all its bearers below carrying it, since last year, due to the measures imposed by the pandemic, “we came out with what we call the throne of COVID because it was a small throne loaded on the outside , with masks, it was something more symbolic but at least we were able to get the image ”, recalls the older brother. In addition, he explains that “this year we have brought a new small carving of Jesus entering Jerusalem, which we affectionately call the donkey, and this year it will be in procession on Palm Sunday, but it is a step designed for children to carry it.”
Alex, at 39, has been in the brotherhood since he was little and was named an older brother last year, although he had already been so in the past. He himself acknowledges that it is not usual to see such a young person in that position and that it is increasingly “more complicated” to involve young people to be part of a brotherhood or brotherhood. “But in our case, having a crew, the truth is that we always have an injection of new people. For example, this year we have about ten new costaleros, and young people, ”he points out.
The brotherhood has about 110 members of all ages, of which about 40 make up the costaleros gang, aged between 20 and 45, mostly men, but there are also some women who have been encouraged, few still , between 5 and 7 depending on the moment. Mariela Verde was one of the first costalera women, 14 years ago, when the first group of five women entered, of which three remain today, she explains. “I did not know that procession, but a costalero friend encouraged me to go see how they loaded and I went and the truth is that I loved it, it was an emotion to see how he gets together with the Captive, and he asked me if I would like to try and I told him than with eyes closed. Well, from there, I know that the Board spoke for women to enter, because before they were all boys, and it came out that they did and told me, and of course I was encouraged to enter ”, she recounts.
Mariela highlights how well received they felt from the first moment: “You go there afraid of the unknown, but they welcomed us very well, they were attentive to us, they encouraged us under the pass, and in reality we all took care of each other and there is a good team atmosphere”.
He acknowledges that carrying the pace is “hard because it is heavy, but with faith the truth is that you don’t even feel it, and there is a good group below who are always encouraging you and asking you if you are okay.” “And it is very emotional – he adds -, especially in the first rise that is made to remove the throne from the church, the moment of the encounter with Jesus Captive and the last rise to return to the church. We go under and the flaps don’t let us see but they tell us, and your hair stands on end”.
Mariela began by trying “and then I promised to continue and 14 years have already passed”, and although this year she will not be able to start as costalera, due to a muscle tear, she affirms, at 50, that “as long as I can, I will continue”. And she encourages women who are interested in being costaleras “to try it and not be afraid, that they can be the same, the weight is distributed among all”.
Carlota Fajardo is a 29-year-old girl who has been a costalera since last year, although she points out that she has already been involved and helping for about 15 years. “We used to go to see the procession with my mother and father all our lives, then my brother started as a costalero,” and began to accompany him “and we stayed,” she says. “For me it is difficult to explain what it feels like – she adds – she, because it is a faith, it gives me inner peace and knowing that you are taking her to see her son is something inexplicable. The first time, last year, it was impressive, it is impossible to put it into words”.
Carlota acknowledges that “it is true that you carry weight and that you have to have strength, but, as the saying goes, faith moves mountains and when the day of the procession arrives and you are excited to take the virgin out and that everything It turns out well, then you move forward”, which is why she encourages women to join, because “anyone can and here it is not seen if we are women or men, but we are all one big family”.
The idea of founding a brotherhood dedicated to the Virgen de los Dolores in the parish of La Paz y Unión arose at the end of the 80s of the last century, promoted by Joaquín López, better known as Yaki Romero, who first encouraged the procession of La Dolorosa carried by bearers, and later to the foundation of this brotherhood, which would become official in 1997.
Holy Week in La Laguna celebrates its first processions in the town
The town of La Laguna hosted its first Holy Week processions yesterday. Thus, in the morning, the image of the Santísimo Cristo del Rescate left from the church of La Concepción, and in the afternoon, the Santísimo Cristo de Burgos procession from the cathedral. Meanwhile, Valle de Guerra also celebrated, last Saturday, the first of its processions.