I have not written in a long while so this is going to be a three part post…
TODO SANTOS…wow, it was a great weekend. For those of you who don’t know Todo Santos is all saints day here in Guatemala which means it is a day of remembrance for all of the people who have pasted away. They visit the cemetery and decorate with flowers and other what nots. I spent the weekend in the town of Todo Santos, which means it was feria, yay! Each town is named after a saint so on that saints birthday it is called feria (more about that later)! Back to Todo Santos, there were about 40 volunteers there which as so much fun but the best part is the town. It is totally indigenous, everyone wears the traditional traje even the men and young boys. It was cute because the teenage boys really rocked the outfit, they popped their collars and wore John Cena t-shirts under the jacket, it was funny to see the traditional culture mixed with the culture from today!
So they whole reason to go to Todo Santos is that they have this horse race…well kind of a horse race, there is no winner except those who do not die! So the men and for the first time this year the woman, ride back and forth along this dirt road but they are also drunk as drunk can be. They try to stay on their horses as long as they can before they have to be replaced! This goes on from 8 am to about 7 pm and it continues to get funnier as the day goes on! They also wear these amazing outfits that just complete the whole festive atmosphere… I would recommend this to anyone looking to really experience Guatemalan culture!
A couple of funny stories…first, I was out in a community that was about 25 km outside of my town giving a charla about cost of production a few weeks ago that gave me some laughs. The charla went great, everyone seemed to understand everything but instead of asking questions about the charla they started to grill my about the US, our lives, our children, etc. This is totally normal behavior if it is the first time the group meets me but not during the charla. At lunch they launch into this crazy interrogation. First it is the obvious question but then they start asking me about birth control, men that is, and what I think about it, how it works, if I could tell them all the different forms, etc. all I have to say is awkward! This is not the end of it, at the end of lunch I am chatting with this grandma and her grandchildren when the father comes up and tells me he wants to regalo, or gift me, his daughter to take back to the states with me so she can have a better life, Whoo, buddy, I am 24 and do not plan on having kids anytime soon! I politely tell him that I cannot do that, after a look of disappointment he agrees and asks me if I can help him find someone to do educational charlas on family planning! At least it ended up a good situation!