It may seem that there are quite a few festivals around here. And, well, there are. The most recent took place last weekend and was to celebrate the founding of our town 402 years ago. Yup, we’re the proud residents of one of the oldest towns in the whole country.
To celebrate, there was a concert in the town square. Local groups sang and played and danced. Little girls in traditional dresses and long braids took the stage just before midnight, smiling as they danced the traditional bottle dance.
There was even a number or two where our friend from the soup kitchen, well-known in the community for being quite often intoxicated, took the stage with the girls. Before the police escorted her away, she did her best to jump right in, following the choreography and arm movements of the girls. You can see her in the black trench coat despite the blurry-ness of the photo below.
If only Isaiah and I wouldn’t have called it a wrap and headed home to escape the rather chilly night air, we could have seen the third place winner (or is third place still considered a winner?) of Paraguay’s reality singing competition. Think American Idol of Paraguay, with the added twist that all the contestants live in a house together.
A couple of days later we hopped on a bus to meet up with some Peace Corps friends at another festival in a town about an hour away from us. It was a gorgeous day and the set-up and execution of the festival impressed me. A stage was constructed on one side of the town square with booths all around. Some were selling lunch (grilled meat, rice salad and yucca), others desserts, a select few were selling artisan goods and many were selling homemade liqueur.
Yegros happens to be the capital of liqueur in Paraguay. It struck me funny that for being such a small town they must have a dozen or more businesses making their own liqueur, but it does seem the case that towns specialize and get a name for something here.
Unfortunately we had to catch the last bus back to our site at 6pm before our friend’s band took the stage, but nevertheless it was a spectacular day to spend outside and an even better bonus to get to meet up with some of our volunteer friends for the day!