Last week was the village fair, in honor of San Pedro (St Peter), its saint patron. It was a lot of fun, especially the beauty pageant. Out of the 3,000+ inhabitants, only four young ladies were willing to participate, one of them smiling so little that it looked like her parents forced her to do it. BF was nominated as a judge and I was designated a front row site just behind him. How long does it take to elect one beauty queen out of four teenagers you ask? Well it was supposed to start at 7pm, so we were there at 7 sharp, the music was too loud for our sanity so we escaped for a while, it really started around 830pm and lasted past midnight. The girls put their best effort into the show and it was really cute, but while they changed the council had decided on an hyperactive cowboy to provide cantina-like musical interludes and it was pretty painful.
Like, that painful. I made the videos 12 seconds long, we had 5 hours of it.
As we were sitting front row we didn’t hear that the villagers didn’t want the singers to perform anymore but we felt it as every time the singer asked “do you want one more?” no one answered, but he must have been paid by the song because he kept on singing even if the contestants had finished changing and were ready for the pageant.
Anyway, back to the show.
The ladies started with a presentation of the traditional local dresses
Then it was time for a cowgirls choreography
I don’t know what that was, some kind of cheerleading dance, their parents didn’t give permission for a swimsuit show so that was in lieu I guess.
My favorite were those flamboyant costumes representing some Mayan stuff.
It was the most festive and original. It was such a cool show that some people hung from the outside windows for the full 5 hours it lasted
Yes, admission was free but the place was crowded. It only happens once a year! 🙂
Finally, the ladies changed into their evening gown, to do a little speech and answer a question. The speeches were learned by heart, had been rehearsed at home for weeks, and were not very original, but how can you learn from something you have never seen? They had no idea how a pageant participant should act, they had a hard time smiling, standing straight, they were shy and very touching. They shared their dreams, “My biggest dream in life is to become a secretary”. One dared dream all the way to accountant. Their favorite pastime were listening to music or reading, not the Internet and fashion. Their favorite dish? Hen soup. My neighbor told me the questions were no surprises, and had been rehearsed as well, but again it was the first time they spoke in public and they did a great job. They were very natural and shy but it gave them a nice touch of authenticity.
It was a weird mix of American show, with a little bit of traditions, and very loud music. Then four boys appeared and they started dancing to the Spanish cover of Lady in Red. The boys had no idea there would be competing for the first ever Mister San Pedro title but played the game really well.
The Queen got crowned by last year’s Queen over a Spanish cover of My Heart Will Go On.
The Queen and King (one of our workers and her real life boyfriend coincidentally).
The festivities lasted four more days, one of the big events being the “pato encebado”. I will spare you the pics on that one. They tie a duck to its legs, head down, and hang it in the air. Then each villager gets to try to rip the duck’s head with his bare hands, standing on his galloping horse. The winner will take home a headless duck for lunch.
The fun wouldn’t be complete without a rodeo!
The bulls are awaiting their fighters
The North of Guatemala sometimes looks like the Far West. Lots of cow boys, cattle breeders, and the laws have a hard time being respected. It is illegal to carry a gun that can be seen by other people.
But if you’re going to do it anyway, better bring ammunitions. For a soccer game, 4 racks should suffice.
We left before they were all drunk and shooting in the air…
530pm, the 2pm rodeo is about to start. Bullfighters say a quick prayer
Time to get on the bull
The doppelganger of some Mexican singer comes for an interlude
There were dances, a couple more live performers, and the traveling shooting stands you find in any small town fair. I was pretty impressed by the size of the event for such a small village.
We took advantage of the fair to meet more villagers, get known and talk about our land development. As BF was the beauty pageant’s judge, he became a celebrity and it was funny being invited to eat in houses of people we had never met or having random stranger calling him by his first name when saying hello in the streets.