Oswaldo Ortega Palma, is a young Mexican who played the role of Jesus in the Passion Play of Iztapalapa
The most important and most difficult role to play in the Passion of Jesus which is presented in the district of Iztapalapa, is that of Jesus.
It is a great honor for any young man in the district to be chosen for this complex role, but also a great responsibility, since the whole staging of the play centers on him.
Physically, it is very demanding. Very early on Good Friday, the young man has to bear the lashes meted out by the “Romans”; a crown of thorns is placed on his head and he has to carry a 220 pound wooden cross along a route of several kilometers. Finally, after climbing the Estrella hill, he is crucified – he is not actually crucified, he’s bound with ropes -, before the eyes of millions of spectators.
Let’s find out a bit more about this Mexican youth, endowed with such great physical and spiritual strength.
*What’s your name?
Oswaldo Ortega Palma.
*How old are you?
*Is this the first time you have played the role of Jesus?
Yes, it’s the first time, although I played a Nazarene for five years, and a Roman for three.
*Who are the Nazarenes?
Everyone can take part as a Nazarene; you only have to wear a brown tunic and a crown of thorns with yellow flowers. Everyone’s responsible for getting the Nazarene costume and the cross to carry along the route, through the streets of Iztapalapa. All the Nazarenes are men, of different ages, from boys to old people, and they do it as an offering to God, or to keep a promise they have made to God.
*How did you become interested in participating in the Iztapalapa play?