San Antonio Tlayacapan is a small town with a population around five thousand people. It is located between Chapala and Ajijic and has been established since the mid fifteen hundreds as an agricultural community. Their Independence celebration took place one week after Ajijic’s.
Their parade took place on Sunday morning, September 22nd. The night before the parade, there was music in the plaza. I woke up at three in the morning and it was still going on. Sunday afternoon, after the parade, there was another celebration in the plaza. It was a big, noisy weekend here.
The military and police were marching in the parade. It was smaller than the parade in Ajijic but just as fun.
Just like in the Ajijic parade, there were many school children, of all ages, marching in the parade. Their teachers and parents marched along beside them.
Each school carried it’s own banner. I had no idea there were so many children living in this small town.
The children took their roles seriously. No mistakes. Their faces were set in concentration.
I liked the girls on their stick horses. Also, the woman walking beside them (on the right in the above photo) was interesting. She had a beautiful face, although it was almost hidden. She must have been the teacher.
The woman in the beautiful dress in the right of the above photo saw me taking her photo. She stopped and bowed for me. The dress is embroidered velvet squares knitted together.
Some of the younger children got to ride on the float. It was the back of a truck. They had fun waving to the onlookers and throwing candy.
I wasn’t able to read the banner for this group. The woman on the right was carrying a bowl and a spoon. Your guess is as good as mine.
I wasn’t able to read the sash the woman was wearing but I am guessing she was either a princess or a queen. Either way, she was royalty.
The woman in the above photo was also royality. I don’t know if a past queen or a current queen. But for sure, royalty.
There were lots of cowboys and cowgirls in the parade. Their dogs ran along beside the horses.
The women in the above photo were riding sidesaddle and wearing similar outfits. They were probably Escaramuza riders.
The young woman on the horse in the above photo was riding sidesaddle. She may have been another Escaramuza rider. They always ride sidesaddle.
I often see horses on the streets here. A ranch is just a few blocks from my house. As in Ajijic, cowboys and cowgirls are respected here. No one minds if a horse gets tied up in front of a store so the rider can buy something. Or if one is coming down the road in front of cars. Few people are hurrying here.
Last came the donkey. The man riding it was drinking a glass of beer. He added humor to the parade. I felt sorry for that donkey. He was a big man and probably heavy. Maybe he should have given some beer to the donkey.
A band played in the gazebo most of the afternoon. It made for a loud, festive atmosphere for the people in the plaza and also people in a two block radius of the plaza. That included my house.
The plaza was crowded on Sunday. Since the population here is so small, most people knew each other and were together for the holiday to eat, drink, listen to music and dance.
Several food stands were set up in and around the plaza. No reason for anyone to go away hungry.
The carnival rides looked like fun for children under ten years old. They were too tame for older children.
After the parade, some of the cowboys parked their horses in the shade by the plaza. They enjoyed beers and food with the rest of the crowd.
The boy was almost swelled up by that enormous hat.
The men above are frying up chicharrons. They wanted to be photographed. This town is very accepting of expats and other outsiders.
It is usually a sleepy town with no more than ten or twelve people in the plaza at the same time. There were hundreds during the celebration. I didn’t see any other expats walking around as I took photos but they were all friendly to me. I am happy to be living here.
After the parade, my street returned to normal. Above is a photo of the grocery store across the street from my house. Horses welcome. People too.