October 16-17: Jesus, beer, and good police

IMG_20151016_205821Yesterday morning the residents of Etzatlan inaugurated the 2015 solemnes fiestas en honor del señor de la Misericordia, a nine-day festival in honor of Jesus Christ. I hopped into a cab and mixed with the crowds. It was fascinating to see how the hallmarks of secular folk fairs, such as beer, live music and lots of food, were seamlessly interwoven with state-sponsored religiosity.

IMG_20151016_205858Aside from the tequila bars, this stand tempted me most. I ended up trying some tamarind drenched in chili powder — not bad!

IMG_20151016_205542Youngsters were enjoying fun rides squeezed into the city’s narrow cobblestone streets, as well as pool tables and–pictured above–a foosball tournament.

IMG_20151016_223106The evening ended with fireworks, which culminated in an art installation of the crucified Christ burning in rainbow colors. The street vendor next to me had trouble holding back her tears, so I guess the fusion of partying and praying was a success. Since I failed to find a cab that late in the evening, I walked over to a local police patrol and asked them for advice. They offered to give me a ride, which I gladly accepted. For some reason I was certain that it would be safe — and it was.

IMG_1399This morning Harry and I woke up to horses grazing on the campground. They turned out to be part of the owner’s pet family. I am proud of Harry because he decided to leave them alone and instead play with Three-Legs.

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