The Annual Fair Comes to Guatemala’s Panajachel

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It’s 4 am: the bombs were bursting when we went to bed, and for many hours in between bedtime and wake time.

Other signs of merriment include blocked roads, diverted traffic, an influx in population, amusement rides in the middle of town, and two weeks off of school for local students (since the school grounds have been commandeered by peddlers selling their wares…)

Then there’s the drunkenness. Pana already has it’s lot of imbibers whom you can find passed out on the streets Saturday and Sunday mornings.

But with the fair in town, you can find them now almost any morning of the week.Yes, the kids get two weeks off for the fair, despite parental disapprovement  who aren’t all that pleased about their kids idling around the fair unsupervised while they are off at work all day everyday.

But in spite of all this (and despite the protests of my husband who had no interest in going), we went to the fair —  for an afternoon (we wanted to avoid the night time revelry).

We walked from our house toward the mercado where the festivities commenced.

I don’t know if this woman and her husband were going to the fair or not, but she certainly looked festive.

It’s fascinating to live in a place where many of the locals wear a traditional dress (and speak a native indian language). I never get tired of seeing it. Much of the world has become ‘Americanized’ in their clothing, losing some of the original culture of a place.

In fact, much of their clothing is ‘leftovers’ from thrift stores in the United States — you’d be flabbergasted by the amount of ‘hand-me-downs’ from the U.S. that come through countries like Guatemala.

If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home.” James Michener

We reached the fair ‘grounds’ and headed directly for the ferris wheel — the kids ride of choice.


Hmmm… maybe there’s another option?

Here’s a very short video clip of the chaos and noise. (I couldn’t get anything longer because my camera card isn’t working right for recording video.)

This girl seemed to be having lots of fun, on this manually powered ‘merry-go-round’.

The kids decided to ride the smaller ferris wheel.

After the ferris wheel, the kids all got ice cream…

Then we left the centro and went in search of ‘real’ food.

Not here…

Or here…

Or here…

Definitely not here…

We did try some of these later, but they weren’t that good.

This is what the kids wanted.

The grown ups got gringas.

This guy was having lots of fun!

This guy? Not so much.

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