Todos Santos Cuchumatán Travel Guide
Going to the horse race track.
Is very easy to find the horse race track, it´s located at the end of the main road, i only needed to follow the dozens of people to find the field before the race track entrance, where all the riders were preparing (drinking the alcohol) to mount their horses. There it was...
Day of the Death.
On the second day the action moves to the cemetery, again lot of stalls selling food and drinks, and marimba with drunk people (mostly men) dancing around the graves. There are also stalls selling offerings to the deaths.
Some of the riders were wearing more colorful clothes, a cap and decorated hats, i´m not shure if that means some kind of importance or status among the riders.
Jinetes Borrachos (Drunken riders).
As i said before to show their bravery riders must ride completely drunk, before getting on the horse men drink bottles of a local spirit called Indita (very strong) and lot of beers. In this picture a rider is triying to mount a horse with a Gallo beer
Drunken riders horse race.
The most amazing thing of this festival is the famous horse race, riders must ride very very drunk (it´s a way to prove their bravery). Of course falls and crashes are quite common, and if a rider is dead in the race that means a year of good crops (an offering to the Mayan...
The day of my visit, was a cold, rainy and foggy day, everybody were looking for a place to escape from the rain, but even with that conditions it´s amazing the beauty of the costumes and the good vibe of the fiesta.
The Ferris Wheel is very popular in all fiestas in Guatemala, even with heavy rains a ride on it is a very popular way to celebrate the ocasion.
Another interesting thing to do during the fiesta is share some time and pictures with the lovely and friendly local crowned queens. (Here with my Canadian friend Sabrina).
Todos Santos church is a very simple colonial style construction, but for the All Saint´s Day festival was very crowded and ornated. During my visit it was raining so everybody´s were inside it, finally i passed the crowds just to find a very humble but interesting church...
Todos Santos Costume.
The men costume of Todos Santos is maybe Guatemala´s most beautiful costume...red and white striped trouser, black breeches and blue striped shirts decorated with very ornated wooven collars and flat hats with a blue ribbon around them. Women costume is less colorful: Dark...
The town is very small and has few interest, a modest main road, two parks and a church, but the scenery that surrounds the town, the remoteness, the authenticity of the place, the costume and the All Saint´s Festival make the village one of the traveller´s favourite place...
The Central park of town is where the Municipality is located, and was the most crowded place of the village during our visit because there was a marimba playing popular music, lots of villagers (some of them very drunk) where dancing in the second floor of the building. A...
All Saint´s Day.
This small and remote village is specially famous among the travellers for it´s All Saint Day festivity. A very colorful tradition that includes food, dances, drunken riders horse race and lots and lots of alcohol. It´s a five day festivity and is visited by all the farmers...
Todos Santos is a very small and remote town, so there few places to eat, we went to a nice coffee shop owned by a French and a Todosanteña woman. But during the fiesta there a lot of stalls selling food, i tried some Churros (sweet fried stuff) delicious, and if you are not so so confident you can always rely on pizza.
Written Nov 8, 2009
Buses to Huehuetenango.
There are two confirmed buses to Huehuetenango at 12.30 pm and 3.00 pm, but i´m shure that during the festival of All Saints day there are more services. We left the town early because we were thinking that (with so many alcohol everywhere) if the riders have suicidal tendencies when riding drunk, maybe the same thing can happened to the drivers.
Written Nov 10, 2009
Taking pictures of children.
Always ask permission when taking pictures of people specially children, a Japanese tourist and his driver were killed here by a mob in 2000 (there were rumours of people stealing children in remote villages), it was an isolated incident but can happened. i visited the village for the festival, so there were dozens of tourists taking pictures so it was easier.
Updated Nov 4, 2009
Luggage and bags: If you travel during the winter time (may-september) bring a rain coat (lots of rain and fog); and warm clothes during the night the whole year.
Updated Nov 4, 2009