Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Chacala's Fiesta for San Rafael, patron saint of Chacala

After nine days of 5am and 5pm processions (perigrationces ?) all around town, accompanied by very loud fireworks and church bells ringing, finally the big day arrived in Chacala. Yesterday most of the town and many visitors celebrated the saint day for San Rafael, the patron saint of Chacala. I have no idea what that means, but it was a very nice day.

Procession at eleven in the morning with many people, all carrying flowers and singing, a mass at the church, and then a potluck in the church yard. The potluck was attacked by very aggressive bees or wasps and the whole affair was moved over to the library/bibliotecha/school yard and went on most of afternoon. Then, after dark, about 7:00pm or so, setup for the dance and crowning of Chacala's princess began.

Alot of the women brought, sold, and served a variety of food and drink. Admission was 20 pesos at the gate. My understanding is that the dance was a fund raiser for something in Chacala, but I don't know what. (Later) It turns out both the dance and the cash votes for the princesses were for a Chacala fund, of which Aurora appears to be the treasurer. I think.

There were maybe two hundred people from ages about-to-be-born to me. There might have been someone older than me there, oh there were, Chico (Aurora's dad), Cundo's dad - can't remember his name, and Don Beto (father of Isreal, Berta, Beto, etc) are all older that I am. And a gringo visitor named Glenn, who said he had worked on Aurora and Beatriz's Techo de Mexico houses five or six years ago.

There was lots of not-as-loud-as-usual music, and lots of dancing, and talking, and kids running around having fun. My two favorite females were 2 year old Mariana (daughter of Patti of massage and hot dog stand fame) and 15 month old Fernanda, (granddaughter of Chico). Mariana was dancing beautifully to the music in a sexy little black number, only occasionally lifting her skirt to show us her pampers. And Fernanda was wearing a beautiful cerise/red full length gown with a very full skirt and bare shoulders. Very beautiful. All the other little girls came up to her when she arrived and touched her dress gently with their fingers.

Really, I hate the concept of sexy one and two year olds and they did look precious. And so did the princesses, Monica (daugher of Chapina and Paco) and Antonella (mom lives at the Casa Maria Techo house) and the oldest daughter of Patti (mentioned above), who actually won. All three girls are EBACH students here in town.

My impression is that the winner was determined by how much money was put in voting boxes around town. But I am not sure. Actually, I hate the whole idea, but they did look lovely.

My favorite couples on the dance floor were Trini and Cundo, who danced alot, and David and Emma. David is the new volunteer doctor at La Clinica and he and his wife Emma, are here with two little, very blond, kids. They are Scottish and may be be here for five month.

Speaking of current visitors, we also have Brigid from Switzerland with her two small (2 and 5 year old ) sons, Ramon and Simon. The boys are bi-lingual in Spanish and Swiss/German and the mom also speaks English. The whole family (Dad is in Switzerland for a couple of weeks) live in San Luis Potosi and have a coffe shop there.

Anyway, it was a very fun night, except for me losing my house keys out of my pocket and having to search abit to find them. I love seeing everyone dancing, especially ten year old boys dancing with their little three year old cousins/sisters. The girls look so raptourous, being twirled around the basketball/volleyball court. AND, there was no fistfight between the Las Varas and Chacala young gentlemen this year.

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