Chichicastenango is 90 miles northwest of Guatemala City and is a market-lovers paradise. Uhhh... that would be me: Professional Mercadodora. On Thursdays and Sundays, this tiny town fills up with a massive collection of mazes and stalls overflowing with Mayan food, clothing and crafts.
As luck would have it, the day we swept through for last minute Christmas shopping four years ago was their Dia del Patron, or Saint Thomas's Day- held every year on December 21st. This means the deities were on the march, taken out for their one day in the sun, strutting their feathers and grandeur. A procession of saints and believers in traditional garb with the added fanfare of headdresses, bells, masks, banners and songs clogged the narrow streets. The popular theme of firecrackers and chaos was in full effect. The merry-makers lite cans full of gun powder strapped to flimsy bamboo sticks in the middle of a dense crowd and detonated the explosive package- no chance of that backfiring! So dangerous. So awesome.