El Valle Parade
On Saturday, we were privileged to view a traditional parade in El Valle. Parades seem to be the main entertainment here, and they have one every few weeks. We met some other Americans around 9, when the parade was supposed to begin. Yes, the words supposed to rather leap out, don’t they!
So we went to the market and ran into several of our readers. They cannot read on Saturday even if we wanted to because it’s their best sales day. I met my reader Marlin (mar-rr-LENE), who had missed Friday due to the death of her father-in-law. I was glad to see her and she was eager to tell me why she missed our appointment.
The parade finally started at 11:30, at which point everyone who had been waiting along the roadside began walking toward the parade—on the street the parade was coming down. As they met the parade, they either split to the sides or turned and started walking with the parade participants. It was hard to get good pictures of the “floats” because so many gringos or doting parents were getting up close to take pictures. (Here all light-skinned people are lumped together as gringos, just as in Thailand we were all farongs.)
But I did get some pictures. I have no idea what most of the floats (I’ll use that word for want of a better one) represented, but they were interesting and most featured children in elaborate traditional dress. Even though many of the Guna tribe are here, I wasn’t aware of any in the parade. Some were called “country people,” those from the mountains surrounding the town, and were shown in hay carts.
Some people were dressed in frightening costumes which seemed to represent the devil or something similar, and those characters would chase people and even grab people from the sidelines to join them. A couple of American teens who go to the Iglesia de Cristo here were in the parade for a while, pulled in to join in the merriment.
This parade lacked the fire engine noise of the Fourth of July parade in Fort Thomas, but a very loud band—not high school, but adult men—played and could be heard all up and down the route. Then other floats had their own music. I’ll include some pictures and you will know as much as I do about what they represent.
However you look at it, everyone had a grand time. It was a day of celebration and a day that a lot of really beautiful children were s
howcased in their costumes and settings.