Celebrating New Life: The Baptism of Baby Calixto
by Vanessa Rojano
“Yeah, you totally have room to do a three point turn” I said, not totally sure that was true. The car was on a road flanked with buildings to our left and a small drop to our right. Rocio and I were in a town in the highlands looking for the Catholic church where Calixto, an Adelante cobbler, would have his first baby baptized. The Mass had already started, and we were lost. I figured worse come to worst, the trees rooted at the base of the drop would probably stop the car from falling all the way off. Insert nervous chuckle here.
This baptism marked a milestone: the first birth celebrated by an Adelante craftsman since the team assembled. In other words, this was a big deal, and we really didn’t want to miss it. Thankfully, a kind pedestrian saw us converting a three point turn into a thirty point turn and stepped in to help.
The church looked different than I had expected; I am used to the colorful churches in the center of flatland towns where they can’t be missed. But this was a town tucked away in the highlands, and the church was in a place where you would only see it after driving up steep zigzagging roads. This church did have that familiar pop of color -- it was bright yellow -- but it looked centuries newer than the churches in Antigua. If it hadn’t been for the Whatsapp message Horacio sent describing the center of town, I would have been worried about being in the wrong church.
We didn’t miss the ceremony. Calixto and his wife, Miriam, proudly watched as the godparents they chose for their son held their first baby as he was baptized.
Calixto has spent his whole life living in his family’s home that overlooks the mountainside on which is sits. Now, Calixto had started a family of his own. Thanks to a steady job with Adelante that provides above average pay and healthcare, Calixto would be able to support this new family of his.
On the day of the baptism, the veranda was decorated with white balloons and pine needles on the floor. The night before, Calixto, his brother, and their father had decorated the home for the luncheon they would be hosting there after the baptism. His mother and mother-in-law prepared the food they would be serving.
If you’ve bought a pair of Adelante shoes and had Calixto as your cobbler, then you might have noticed that Calixto doesn’t speak softly, but he isn’t someone you might describe as “loud” either. He’s a bit of a playful introvert. When I asked him if his baptism luncheon had dancing after I left he said “No, for his baptism we threw something simple. When he turns one year old we’ll throw him his fieston.”
From his Customer to Cobbler bio, you would also know that Calixto values the time he shares with his family. “Sometimes I get sad because the baby is asleep when I get home,” Calixto tells me, but overall working as a cobbler with Adelante means he has more time to spend with his family.
“When my family celebrates a milestone, like the birth or baptism of a baby, I find myself stopping to think about how lucky I am to live such a nice life, did you feel that sort of way on the day of your baby’s baptism?” I asked Calixto. “Yes!” his face lights up, “since the day he was born.”