San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
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Catholics in Guatemala set sawdust carpet world record

GUATEMALA CITY — Thousands of Guatemalan Catholics broke their own Guinness record for the world’s longest sawdust carpet Thursday with a multi-colored masterpiece stretching down the main avenue of the capital’s historic center.

Completed in anticipation of Easter, it was more than 2,000 meters long (6,600 feet) and constructed of dyed sawdust and flowers.

The carpet, considered a piece of temporary art, was constructed over the course of seven hours by 5,000 volunteers who began work in the early hours. They used 54,400 kilos (120,000 pounds) of sawdust.

“Thanks to all who have made possible the longest sawdust carpet in the world,” said Archbishop Óscar Vian, who joined a procession in which youth volunteers carrying two images of Jesus passed over the multi-colored surface.

“At a moment when Guatemalans unite and take on a common objective, we can demonstrate great things,” said Victor Martínez, a member of Guatemala City’s municipal council.

Guatemala City’s first record-breaking carpet last year was an initiative to invite Pope Francis to visit.

The pope has not yet confirmed he will come.

People walk in Guatemala City on Thursday beside a 2,012 meter-long carpet of flowers and colored sawdust.


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