Wednesday, January 5, 2011


The country fair came to town this week; here in Guatemala, the phenomenon of fried food, excessive drinking, carnival rides, loud music, beauty contests, parades, carnies, tacky souvenirs and sweets is known as Feria.

Feria is usually a week-long celebration and most towns have one at some point throughout the year, depending on the patron saint or celebrated figure. Here it’s Los Tres Reyes Magos, or the Three Wise Men. If you’re an average citizen or Muni employee, you get pretty much the entire week off work.

We got the Feria started yesterday with a big show in the Municipal Stadium, a triple bill with the Feria Queen competition (4 contestants with their bathing suits, fantasy costumes, speeches and so on), a famed impersonator (I don’t know, nor do I remember who he was impersonating) and a concert from Fabiola Rodas, a Mexican who won Latin America’s version of American Idol a couple years back. I worked a booth so I didn’t have to pay the 50Q ($7) entry fee. Scheduled to start at 7, getting going at 9:30 and finishing at 2 AM was pretty much par for the course, so I was pretty tired today.

I dragged myself out of the house this morning to watch a big parade, then walked back to the Municipal Stadium to catch the horse show and see a dance troupe with some bizarre Lord Of The Rings costumes. There was a women’s soccer game afterwards, but I was hungry and left to go get lunch.

Tonight I checked out the Midway, or games section of the carnival. It’s pretty much just like the United States – games of chance that probably involve you being separated from your money:

Toss a coin!

Get it inside a ring without touching and you win. (even the kid thinks this is boring)

Throw a dart!

Hit the right picture and win (less than what you paid for the darts)

Roll the marbles!

Each slot has a number and with the right combination you win (guy gave me a practice throw and when I added up the numbers wrong he told me I didn’t know how to count lol)

By the way - this is where pork tacos come from:

People are all into pork tacos around here, but I think things like “trichinosis” and keep my street-fried-pig intake to a minimum.