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The sleepy town of Chiquimula is not so sleepy on La Virgen de Guadalupe Day when La Virgin is paraded around town to much firework fanfare and brought back to La Catedral to be lavished by hundreds of candles placed by her feet by women. Children await her return dressed as inditos y inditas and get pictures taken in front of altars that combine Christmas trees, marimbas, and tortilleria and nativity scenes. You pick the best alter since you’re going to pay to have their pictures taken, but it usually takes a few rounds around the park which you share with food vendors, hundreds of other children and their mothers pulling them along as they inched their necks like geese to find the best one.
My two cousins were decked out in Esquipulas (burgundy striped) and Chiquimula traditional (solid cream colored) linen outfits that matched their clothes and caites, or sandals. Our family are pro’s at this, so we avoided the double circuit, cut to the marimba-Christmas Tree-Nativity hybrid altar, and then we headed to see La Virgen while a quinciañera was going on (I figured the bright orange ruffled dress at the entrance of the church had nothing to do with La Virgen, but who knows).
On the way there we made a pit stop at the rows upon rows of ametralladoras, bombas, quetes, every imaginable illegal firework you only dreamend about lighting up in the United States. Brad’s fingers itched, so we bought one bomba for La Virgen, Q2, and paid our due respects in my aunt’s backyard later that night much to the dismay of the chickens, the dogs, the cats and everything else that crawled out from the courtyard.
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