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San Pedro Las Huertas Town Fair

The Antigua Guatemala villages of San Pedro Las Huertas, San Juan del Obispo and San Pedro El Panorama are having the patron-saint …

Guatemalan Town Fair Food

Believe it or not, there seems to be always a feria, town fair, in and around Antigua Guatemala. Of course, besides the …

Town Fair Food by Rudy Giron

Town Fair Food

What’s your favorite food from the Guatemalan town fair? I go nuts for the churros.

Guatemalan Town Fair Pizza

We get a lot of things from our neighbors from the big white north like remittances, retired chicken buses, junk cars, and …

Guatemalan Fair: The Pine-needle Processional Carpets

The making of these processional carpets is such a community-forming and bonding activity since in the process participate many, if not all, of the neighbors and family members. These traditions, festive calendar dates and special celebrations mark very strongly what makes a normal human being into a hard-core Guatemalan. You break the link or access to these experiences and you only have a person that was born in Guatemala; a fact as worthless as the fact of having had a pair of boots once.

Guatemalan Fair: Fresh Fruit Stall

After all the pounds we have gained this week at the San Pedro Las Huertas Fair, it is nice to come across some healthy food. For Q5 ($0.65) we can take any fresh fruit bags and we will need the savings since we already lost quite a few Quetzales at the others fair stands. Now, even though I have shown all these Guatemalan fair food and even describe it as tasteful and delicious, I don’t want to pass it as healthy. Fair food is junk food. I am so glad these fair food vendors have not come across the Super Size Me concept!

Guatemalan Fair: The French Fries Stall

Papas fritas is the Guatemalan Spanish name for French fries. Here is the abbreviated history that gave us the Guatemalan french fries stall: first the Quechuas or Incas domesticated the potato (Solanum tuberosum) into a crop in southern Peru and northern Bolivia; the Spanish conquistadors took it to Europe where it was an instant hit and along with maize turned a famine-prone population into a healthy society; somewhere in one of the northern European states, quite possibly Germany, the potato lost its skin and got deep-fried; This Eurpean recipe crossed the Atlantic with the new immigrants that came to U.S. and since it was a foreign-looking recipe, they called it French fries (remember Coneheads); so the French fries came to Guatemala along one of the many incursions from the United Stateians (Americans they seem to call themselves ;-) ) as a side dish for the hamburger or the hot dog. Guatemalans thought that French fries were too good to be side dish and turned it into a meal by itself. That is how the papas fritas cart came to be.

Guatemalan Fair: The Pizza Kiosk

A recent addition to the Guatemalan Fair zoo is the pizza kiosk. Just like many other aspect of modern Guatemala idiosyncrasy, pizza has come to stay, but it must evolve, just like chinese food. So the typical Guatemalan town fair pizza is made from a less tasteful dough, only mozzarella cheese and ham; nothing more. You get your slice and normally ad ketchup to it. The Guatemalan town fair pizza stand is, almost invariable, managed by one or tow young indigenous teenagers or young adults with a taste for extremely heavy rock metal music which they blast from a portable boom box. The pizza booth may have posters describing their pepperoni or salami pizza even though they only sell ham pizza. Go figures!

Guatemalan Fair: The Churreria Stand

A town fair is not a fair without the churros. A churreria is the place where they make churros; [CHOOR-roh] Similiar to a cruller, this Spanish, Mexican and Guatemalan specialty consists of a sweet-dough spiral that is deep-fried and eaten like a doughnut. Churros are usually coated with a mixture of cinnamon and confectioners’ (or granulated) sugar (source Answers.com). Just about now after looking the Guatemalan churrerí­a, I got the cravings for a cinnamon-covered bag of churros, would you like an order too? If you don’t have a sweet tooth, you can always have plataninas, poporopos, chicharrines, and anillos frescos y calientes; your choice.

Guatemalan Fair: The Typical Booth

We continue the photographic tour of a Guatemalan town fair with a typical booth. Since the inflated toys and balloons are very obvious, we will play the game of naming everything else that you see on the table. I will get you started with the bags of peanuts on the left. Now it is your turn, name as many things as you can recognize. Let the game begin!

Guatemalan Fair: The Ferris Wheel

Ferris wheels are another element of the Guatemalan fair. There is at least one Ferris wheel, but more often two or three of different sizes. The Ferris wheel is known here by these names rueda de Chicago(Chicago Wheel), rueda de la fortuna (wheel of fortune) and vuelta al mundo (around the world). Fairs are made up by all kinds of ambulant stands. Fairs are like accordions, they grow or shrink depending of the size of the community or town. All these photos belong to the San Pedro Las Huertas, a small village just outside and belonging to La Antigua Guatemala. At the end of July, La Antigua Guatemala will have its massive fair in honor of Saint James or Santiago.

Guatemalan Fair: The Church and its Saint

Almost all town fairs and festivities are around the town’s patron, in this case is San Pedro Las Huertas, which by the way, means Saint Peter of the vegetable gardens. Since Guatemala was a catholic country for the last 500 years or so and the Mesoamerican indigenous people absorbed and mixed the catholic rituals and traditions with their own religious beliefs and traditions, most Guatemalan towns have a Spanish catholic first name and often an indigenous last name (otherwise known as the original name). For example, Santo Domingo Xenacoj, which means the original name of the town was Xenacoj, and the town was re-christen with Santo Domingo. Now with the above information, we now know that a town’s fair happens once-a-year on the town’s catholic patron. For San Pedro Las Huertas the date is June 29th and for La Antigua Guatemala is July 25th because the city used to be called The Very Noble and Very Loyal City of Saint James of the Lords of Guatemala, as mentioned by Manolo a few days ago. And some of you thought La Antigua Guatemala was already a very long name; try explaining to your friends and relatives that you are planning a vacation to The Very Noble and Very Loyal City of Saint James of the Lords of Guatemala.

Is it fair? Really it’s a fair

For those who like to imagine what ruins were like and what people did around them I have todays photo of San Pedro Las Huertas Town fair with the church (not a ruin) in the background and all kind of food vendors around the town’s plaza. So this is what the ruins looked like when they were in used by the people of the past. If you would like to browse for other photos from San Pedro Las Huertas, just follow the white rabbit or if you only want to see a better shot of the church in the background just say we’re not in Kansas anymore.

Book fair in Antigua

La Antigua Guatemala was founded as Santiago de los Caballeros de Guatemala (Saint James of the Lords of Guatemala) on July 25th, …

Buñuelos: Guatemalan Comfort Foods for December

Guatemalan buñuelos are kind like round French toast and they are served with a lot hot syrup made from water, sugar, anís (anise), cinnamon sticks, all-spice just to name the main ingredients.

Buñuelos are one of the most popular Guatemalan comfort foods for December. If you follow the white rabbit, you can browse some of the other comfort foods found at town fairs in December; of course, some of these comfort foods are found all year round.

Mickey Mouse Kite

Cross-culturization is happening so fast that Guatemala may seemed foreign to those Guatemalans who have lived a few years outside its borders. Walt Disney figures and just about any comic hero like Spiderman, Superman, Wolverine, et-cetera are being absorbed by the popular culture and mixed with their own traditional icons like kites and parades for town fairs. But this cross-culturization is happening at all levels and not only with U.S. trivial merchandise, but with Mexican culture, music, food, novelas (soap operas), et-cetera. For instance, a few year back, I took a photograph of menu board in Panajachel, Lake Atitlán, which advertised the Desayuno Chapí­n (Guatemalan breakfast) with eggs a la Mexican style