Thursday, June 01, 2006

Chacala Photos Borrowed from the Web

This is a photo of the southern end of the main beach street in Chacala. Those little stores and restaurants seem to be called cuestos, and many of them are only open for Easter, Christmas, and/or weekends. The cuesto business people seem to have a pretty active governing group, or at least I think that's what it is. They have a lot of meeting, but when I ask someone what they talk about usually the person remarks on big mouths saying nothing.

I have no idea why these photos are so little, and I don't know how to make them bigger.
The shot above is taken from the water, showing a couple of houses on the Chacala beach. I think Jessica and Gilberto and family live in the house on the right.
Below is the muelle, where the fishing boats are tied up and fish are unloaded from the boats.
Today was June 1, a special day in Chacala (and maybe all over Mexico, for all I know). It is a special day for fishermen, and boats, and fishing. I think I have that right. This is the 3rd year I have been in town for this special day, but the first time I attended some of the events. First there was a Mass, including two baptisms after 11 am. I could hear the church bell ringing (three times, onces every 10 minutes or so, to let people know the priest is here, I think).
So I went down to the church, and there were a couple of hundred people at the church and in the church yard, which was decorated with Maria's beautiful banners of colored tissue paper. A group of men were smoking and barbequeing fish during the Mass, and tables were being set up for a big potluck.

Right after the Mass ten boatloads (actually, launcha-loads) of people, led by the Harbor Master's boat, which carried the priest and a special huge flower display, took off from the muelle (above) and went up and the down the coast around Chacala. Las Cuevas, La Caleta, and Chacalilla. I didn't go, but I watched everyone loading onto the boats and taking off.

I have the impression that the idea is to ask for special blessings for fishermen, but
I may have missed the point completely. Then, back to the church. On the way back I looked at the new building on the dingy beach. Om, sister of Jose Enrique and Laura de Valle, who owns the lot that everyone takes pictures of (a strangler fig tree entwined on very old stone pillars) is having JE build a structure behind most of the pillars. I think it is supposed to be a restaurant with an outside terrace where most of the pillars are. Whatever it is, it really looks nice. I am glad they found a way to build around the old parts of the building. It was getting really junky on that lot, and some of the pillars were starting to reallly lean over.

Back at the big feast in the church yard, which included a very nice band with a saxaphone player, everyone was eating and talking and having a good time. At least it looked like a good time to me, and I enjoyed myself. The band played in the church while people ate, and the acoustics seemed pretty good. The best part of the Mass, for me anyway, was sitting out until the big tree and listening to the women singing inside the church.

The little kids (boys mainly) were running all around, in and out of the church. So many kids at the church today were little babies, or not even born, when I first came to Chacala, and now they are running around and having a great time. All dressed up and many with new haircuts.

It's almost midnight now, and the final event of the day is still going on. It's a dance down on the beach kind of behind Jorge's Deposito and Acela's Restaurant. Giant speakers are stacked on top of each other, and the sound is perfectly clear from here, right next to the Chacalilla gate. Ugh.

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