Holy Week in Ecuador

Holy Week in Ecuador

Holy Week in Ecuador is one of the most colorful times of the year. The processions on Good Friday are one of the greatest demonstrations of Catholic faith. The Good Friday procession in Quito is named Jesús del Gran Poder (Jesus of Great Power) and is said to be one of the largest Good Friday processions in Latin America, which is remarkable given that Quito is a city of merely two million inhabitants.

In the Jesús del Gran Poder procession, people walk through the colonial center of Quito carrying figures of Jesus Christ. The procession begins at one of the largest convents in Latin America – Convento de San Francisco (Saint Francis Convent). It is estimated that around 500,000 people witness this important procession in Quito on Good Friday. The main figure of the procession is the sculpture “Jesús del Gran Poder”, which is a colonial relic belonging to San Francisco Church and Convent. It is only taken out once a year, to preside over this important procession. Held in honor of Jesus’ sacrifice, it is a solemn procession in repentance of sins. Tens of thousands of penitents march solemnly through the narrow cobblestone streets of Quito’s Old Town.

Holy Week in Ecuador

Statue of a winged virgin who overlooks Quito

Quito is also home to a Sacred Music Festival that takes places annually during Holy Week in Ecuador. The concerts take place in churches and theaters all over Quito. Performances are conducted by the National Symphony Orchestra of Ecuador, the Andean Instruments Orchestra, children and youth choirs, and many more.

All of this takes place in Quito’s colonial center, which, along with Krakow, was the first place on Earth ever to be declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its extremely well-preserved colonial architecture.

Holy Week in Ecuador

One of the Basilica’s towers

Ecuador Volunteer Program

Quito is the site of our Ecuador service program, where you can play an important role in the lives of at-risk children. Global Volunteers partners with two daycare centers on the outskirts of the city to provide care, nutritious meals, and educational activities for children aged one, two, and three so that their moms can go to work each day. Without this virtually free daycare options, these toddlers and young children might be left home in the care of another young child, instead of that child attending school. The situation for many of these working families is very dire, and they struggle to cover their most basic needs. When coming to volunteer in Ecuador, you will know that you are making a difference in the lives of children and families in need.

For those wanting to use their hands, we have many very important light labor projects to improve the daycare facilities.

Your Global Volunteers service program contribution is tax-deductible (for U.S. taxpayers) because you volunteer or prepare 40 hours a week. In your evenings and on the weekend, you’ll have ample free time to partake in the cultural activities of Holy Week in Ecuador. Good Friday is a national holiday in Ecuador, one of the biggest and most colorful of the year. Therefore, the daycare centers are closed. On this day also, you’ll have the opportunity to experience all the culture and traditions surrounding this important holiday in Ecuador.

Holy Week in Ecuador

Volunteer Amy with children at the daycare center

Explore Quito – Light of America

While in Quito, you’ll be able to visit many of Quito’s iconic sites, such as the Basílica del Voto Nacional. This is the largest neo-Gothic basilica in the Americas. Statues of Galápagos animals, including tortoises and iguanas, line the exterior. Its stunning towers rise high above everything in Quito’s Old Town. Check out this gorgeous 60-second drone video of this basilica.

To give you a better idea of what Quito looks like on Good Friday, take a look at this video of still shots of Holy Week in Ecuador.

To learn more about our volunteer program in Ecuador, visit our Ecuador page. Or, for more information on this special program over Holy Week in Ecuador, chat with a Volunteer Coordinator now:

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