Todos Santos Cuchumatán-All Saints Day, Guatemala 1st November 2015

// Part 6 of 8 //

While all of Guatemala celebrates Dia de Todos los Santos, the small hilly town of Todos Santos Cuchumatán is known for having one of the best festivals during which local men hold wild, drunken horse races.

These races are the culmination of a week-long festivities and a mad night of dancing and libations that continue throughout the day of the race for all men, riders included…

Upon arriving to the village, we admired the costumes of the inhabitants and particularly the attires and the headdresses of the racers.

Trying to catch a good view of the races, we climbed up a grassy hill and managed to find ourselves a suitable spot on a rooftop. The track is approximately 100m long and the horses have to cross it 6 times, back and forth, a drunk rider saddled on their back.





We left during the midday break before the races resumed. According to our guide, we shouldn’t stay until the races are over as the general excitement would have reached an unsettling level and  the streets would be lined with men so drunk they can no longer stand.

The races sound like fun but each year there are many injuries, some fatal…and paradoxically that bring honor to the deceased’s family..

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