The churches are alive with music. Worshippers arrive on foot or by bicycle. There seems to be no restriction on bringing the bikes inside. They line the walls, are propped against the confessionals or parked near the back pews. Some, who perhaps want to make a quick getaway after the final blessing, stand at the back with their bikes.
Some who have little or nothing position themselves at the doors, hoping to benefit from the generosity of those who are bathed in God’s love as they head out.
A few sellers with carts of sodas, flavored water or comidas rapidas like tacos or hot dogs position themselves near the churches, hoping for a boost from the worshippers heading home.
This morning, an almost-uneard-of summer rain doused the city. The locals were shocked by the quick downpour. Chuch attendance rose as passers by ducked in to the cathedrals and chapels to escape the downpour.
Traffic is less energetic than the other six days of the week. Most of the vehicles on the road are transporting tourists. Taxis, privately hired Turismo buses and the horse drawn carriages that circumnavigate the city are the majority of those on the road.
The honking of horms seems a little more considered on Sunday. During the week, a honk might mean danger or indicate the fact that the driver intends to ignore the stop sign (or giving warning to those with a sign that it shouldn’t be ignored). It might be a greeting to a friend passing on the street. It might be a call of appreciation to a lovely young woman passing by. A horn has many meanings six days a week. On Sunday, it is only to alert for a dangerous situation.
Vendors are out in fewer numbers. Most await the purchaser’s approach. The hawkers in the mercado are fewer. The music there is subdued. The banter between customers and sellers is less animated.
The restaurants either open early and close before noon or open later in the afternoon. Most of the diners were foreign visitors. Residents more likely eat a dinner at home with their families on their only day off.
It’s quiet. Even the dog and the rooster next door, which spend their days – and nights – in a perpetual call and response, are quiet.