Fiesta in Valladolid, Mexico
At Ek’ Balam we had the ruins almost to ourselves, until tropical rains chased us back to Valladolid, just in time for mass.
There was a parade for Mission Sunday, with children in coloured troupes waving streamers to represent the different continents. The child on the Oceania float wore a Little Mermaid hat, the Asian pair wore over-sized pajamas, carried fans and incense and sported chopsticks in their hair, the Africans had animal heads strapped around their chins and peered through greenery. All were accompanied by a rock band on the back of a truck.
The priest waved a long green balloon and riled the children into chanting louder than each other’s continent groups. I had tears in my eyes; I was so moved by the bustling, messy, joyous occasion. Despite the fact that I had to stand, pressed against a wall whose paint flaked off on my t-shirt, I can’t remember a time I enjoyed mass more.
After dinner, the square outside was in full swing, with a band playing and couples dancing ringed by rows of onlookers on plastic chairs. The square was filled with food stalls, a jumping castle and families pouring out of the late mass. Two children dressed as angels posed, hands pressed together, for a photo. A guy selling bags of fairy-floss weaved through, his wares tied to a wooden pole.
By the time I spotted the two women, above, I was moving in time to the music and had completely fallen for Mexico.