The “Verbena Jamaica del Pasado” is a very traditional event that dates back to almost 100 years and is organized by the Ajijic locals in order to raise funds for the “Passion of Christ” play that is preformed each year. After two years on cancelations due to COVID, the Verbena del Jamaica del Pasado was finally able to take place again in 2022 at the Ajijic Plaza.
For 2022 the event focused on raising funds for two causes: 1) As previously mentioned, for the “Passion of Christ Play” where the organizers need funds to pay for materials, costumes, makeup and the various items needed for the play. The Verbena event helps get the funds they need along with local donations.
2) The second cause funds were raised for is for the sick local residents in the general Ajijic area that cannot afford to have an operation, healthcare or medicine in order to get well. Some are even terminally ill people, in which the families have a hard time coping with their loved ones and expenses.
The above gestures in fund raising is proof of how the Lake Chapala community gets together to help both local traditions and its people who cannot afford healthcare. The town is truly united to keep traditions alive and show its people support in their time of need.
Below you can see people carrying palm sculptures walking in the procession behind Jesus. They often are proudly displayed at the entrance of people’s homes, as reminders of this Easter season and the sacrifices made by Jesus. You can see part of the crowd following Jesus and his disciples.
During the Verbena, the locals cooking the food are asked to maintain local traditions that have been followed for many years, such as cooking or serving the food sold in clay “barro” pans and dishes as can be observed in the picture below.
These events always attracts a crowd and many locals including expats come to show their support by buying food and drinks. Tables and chairs are setup around the main plaza so everyone can enjoy their meals.
Some of the best “Aguas Frescas” (fruit punch) are available to be purchased at the event and local “Raspados” (a sort of ice cream). As you can see in the picture below, there is a large gathering waiting to get their drinks.
Pozole along with some delicious tostadas is another dish offered and perhaps one of the most desired meals at the Verbena. The lady below got hers in a plastic dish, which should not be used but some participants forget they have to bring traditional clay dishes to offer consumers.
Make sure to check out the video we did on the Verbena event on our YouTube channel. It takes you around most of the plaza so you can see the several food stands, crowds of people and part of the procession: