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Hartford's Hispanic community remembers, re-enacts Good Friday

In a reenactment of the traditional Via Crucis, an actor playing Jesus was fake whipped before a crowd. Hundreds of people took to the streets of Hartford for the traditional Via Crucis, a celebration that commemorates the events of the last day of Jesus's life, from his arrest to his cruicifixion, burial and ressurction. The event was hosted by St. Augustine Church in Hartford, CT.
Ayannah Brown
/
Connecticut Public
In a reenactment of the traditional Via Crucis, an actor playing Jesus was fake whipped before a crowd. Hundreds of people took to the streets of Hartford for the traditional Via Crucis, a celebration that commemorates the events of the last day of Jesus's life, from his arrest to his cruicifixion, burial and ressurction. The event was hosted by St. Augustine Church in Hartford, Conn.

Hispanic members of Hartford’s St. Augustine Church honored Good Friday with a memorial event. Nearly 350 people followed a reenactment of the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ through a commemoration on Maple Avenue.

Rodolfo Ortiz is from Honduras and portrayed Jesus during the event. Ortiz said it's important to send a message of peace in a city where crime is high.

"In Hartford, the youth are disconnected from God," Ortiz said. "I realized that we all have to do something about that. Young people look for love where there isn't. This made me feel that I had to portray Jesus and show love to others."

Members of Hartford's Hispanic community portrayed each character according to religious traditions. They said they prepared mentally and spiritually to carry out the event.

The 2020 census shows 19% percent of Hartford’s population is from Latin America.

Hilda Tejada, who is from Mexico, said Hispanic immigrants culturally enrich the state and many lean on their Catholic roots when adapting to life in a new country.

"When Hispanics come, we need love as we don't have our family," Tejada said. "Some could have fear.

"We go to church with enthusiasm, faith, and love. The elderly, young people, children, everybody gets involved," Tejada said.

Good Friday traditions in the Hispanic community also focus on music and seafood meals. The religious observations culminate on Easter Sunday, when Christians believe Christ resurrected from death.

Maricarmen Cajahuaringa is a journalist with extensive experience in Latino communities' politics, social issues, and culture. She founded Boceto Media, a digital Spanish-language newspaper based in Connecticut. Maricarmen holds a Bachelor's in Social Work from Springfield College, and a Master's in Journalism and Media Production from Sacred Heart University. As a reporter for Connecticut Public, she is dedicated to delivering accurate and informative coverage of the Hispanic/Latino population in the region. Maricarmen is an experienced and passionate journalist who strives to bring a voice to the stories of her community.

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