I arrived around 10ish this morning in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, and went to Erika, my host. She was going to leave for the fiestas in Chiapa de Corzo and asked me if I wanted to join, so I just put on my lenses and went along with her. :) It’s about 1 hour bus ride, close to Tuxtla (which I just had passed on my way here, haha).
We walked down to the Plaza del 31 de Marzo where we met up her friend Itsam and walked to the bus station. The economic bus costed only 25 pesos! Before the bus left the station there were a couple of vendors who sold some fruits and candy, and we bought fruits, 10 pesos for a box, and they were delicious. I love all this exotic fruit. mmmmm!
When we got there we passed by another couchsurfers house to leave our bags and also change clothes, because it’s much warmer there (Erika was all delirious about it). They live in Montebello, such a beautiful area, all the houses have different colors, it’s like lego!
The Fiesta Grande de Enero is a celebration which joins a number of events which all happen in the month of January, they are hold every year 4/1-23/1 so today was the last day, when there is a parade of dancers, the most known are the Parachicos. They dress in a mask, a helmet or wig, and a serape. They also carry a type of maraca called chinchin to make noise. The mask is carved of wood and decorated to mimic a Spanish face.
This tradition refers back to a story in the colonial era. The legend sais that a rich woman had a son who suffered from a mysterious illness which no doctor could cure. She travelled around to find a cure and arrived here to a local healer and the boy was miraculously cured. To distract and amuse the boy, a local group dressed up as spanish people with masks and began to dance ”para el chico” which means ”for the boy” in spanish. According to one version of the story, this is what cured the boy. The tradition of these dancers began in 1711.
We went with two other travelers who were there, Raphaelle and Baptiste, yes, from france :) Erika had hosted them before too. We walked around, bought sweats, food, had some coffee, saw the parade and so on. It was a very pleasant evening!
We went home at night, all together to San Cristóbal de Las Casas. We went out to eat some dinner and then home to sleep. Raphaelle and Baptiste where leaving 5am in the morning for Guatemala next day, they are also traveling around South America until august, so hopefully our paths will cross again :)