Monday, September 8, 2014

Parade and Night Life, San Clemente style

In standard Ecuador fashion, the parade started later than it was supposed to, it was to start at 2:30, but it was closer to 3:30. It was much longer than the San Jacinto parade we saw recently, and a fun cultural experience.  The whole festival is in honor of the fishermen. John and Mary MacDonald wrote about it in their blog, so I'll use it. 

"The novena is a nine evening religious/social celebration paying homage to the patron saint of fishermen, the Virgen Caridad del Cobre.  The town maintains a shrine of sorts to this virgin in the middle of the downtown area.  For nine nights in a row visiting priests conduct a service at the church and then the statue of the Virgin Mary is carried in procession to a place of honor next to the Virgin del Cobre where a huge crowd gathers to recite prayers asking for God’s blessing over the fishermen."

So it's obvious that the parade would start with that Virgin del Cobre

I believe these to be the maestros, we might call them craftsmen in the States. The guys that have been fishing their whole lives.

Plenty of marching cheerleader squads, marching bands and dance groups followed

These kids with the waves on their drums are from SanJacinto. These drummers were really having a great time.

This proves that young girls everywhere want to dress sexy. Yikes

Then there were the Ninos and gringos. These must be pre-school groups.

Next jeep and truck are some of the crazier expats, they handed out candy.

In between all these groups were clusters of people, with sashes, and flags. I'm thinking they are prominent families of the area. But checkout the guys with snakes!

You can see in these shots we were positioned across the street from Casa de Todo, our favorite "go to" place. The parade finished up with trick ponies and the firemen.

These were before the parade, they do different decorations every year, thought the umbrellas were cute.

We went home after the parade, had a late nap and went back out after 9pm for the nightlife. We are NOT night owls anymore, and it's hard to get us out of the house after dark, but we really wanted to embrace the festival. So we bribed ourselves with shawarma, and headed out. The bandstand was right infront of Pablos, literally! But we had VIP seating as he called it, and we enjoyed it even tho it was REALLY loud.

We sat and watched, and danced til midnight, then at intermission we snuck out. There were makeshift discos on every corner, and it was almost impossible to get thru the kids in the street, of course the only lighting was street lights, so I couldn't get pictures, except for these in the main square where there was more light and space. We didn't even recognize our sleepy little fishing village, it was like a crazy spring break!

Food vendors everywhere, I don't know how they all competed there were so many. Everybody seemed to have a great time, Saturday was to be even bigger crowds, so we stayed home. Got to see the fireworks from the rooftop deck.

Next post, I'll add some pictures of the aftermath, we went into town for lunch on Sunday because the power went out, and it was a mess! Glad it'll get back to normal, it was really crazy, fun but crazy!

I had a comment recently, and since I can't figure out how to reply, I wanted to reply here. The comment was a question about the shipping, if the manifest/inventory sheets were very detailed, even with photos of every item, would they still open everybox? And the answer is...they do what they want. You never know what they're going to do. There's even speculation here with my new predicament, that maybe the customs saw the photos they took at inspection, and decided maybe they wanted some of our stuff. So make it next to impossible for me to get it out of hock. Hmmm, you never know.

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed the parade, it was a fun weekend, glad it's over and we can get back to our sleepy little beach community. We sure love it, busy or not, it's great! Stay tuned!


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