Ariel prepares to portray Jesus in Mexico’s largest Passion

September 3, 2017
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Ariel Rodrigo Estrella, 18 years old, is ready for the role of his life. After months of training and carrying a wooden cross for miles, Ariel is ready.

The Iztapalapa reenactment first began in 1843 and has become the largest in Mexico. Over one million people will witness Ariel’s portrayal of Christ on Good Friday.

Semana Santa is celebrated throughout Mexico with the dramatic and emotional reenactments.

In Ixtapalapa a real crown of thorns is warn on the head of the actor portraying Jesus and thorny switches for lashings.




Those reenacting the events wear period costumes. They portray soldiers on horseback, magistrates in chariots, military commanders, centurions and praetorian guards in full Roman regalia.

Jesus is wearing a crown of thorns. His face filled with pain, his feet dirty, bruised and bloodied. A rope tied around his neck. A soldier pulls on it. Jesus’ legs wobble. He strains to stand tall but the weigh of the cross pushes him down. This all a result of months of training and preparation for the important role.

Ariel underwent intense physical and mental testing to prepare for the role after being selected among hundreds of applicants last January.

Acting isn’t a dream of Ariel, he has his eyes set on professional soccer. Today he works in a factory making backpacks and handbags, but soccer is his passion.