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Maya community celebrate embrace their culture

Maya community in the Toledo District celebrate their first Catholic Family Festival.

The first Catholic Family Festival for the Mayas were held over the weekend.  Correspondent Paul Mahung has the story.

Paul Mahung, Toledo Correspondent: Activities to celebrate St.Peter Claver Parish’s first Maya Catholic Festival were held at the weekend in Punta Gorda. Festive activities on Saturday and Sunday were held at St.Peter Claver Church and St.Peter Claver school grounds. Coordinator of the event was Claver College Catechist Geraldo Toario.

Geraldo Toario, St.Peter Claver Catechist: “The day started with a cultural mass at six thirty in the morning and thereafter we had the Maya offering and this is from a group from Halacte; this ritual took about thirty to forty five minute and this was accompanied by the cultural deer dance, the marimba, the harp, the drum and the flute. It was very colorful, very cultural and thereafter we moved over to the school grounds for St.Peter Claver School under the big tent and there we had out stage performances. Simultaneously this was done as the deer dance was happening in the open area. Thereafter we had the spectacular cacao dance also know as the Ox’lahun Bak’tun, this is culturally known as the 2013 Maya dance according to the Maya calendar. So all of these are ongoing and of course our visitors had the chance to visit the several booths, the different booths where we had on sale different Maya foods, snacks, drinks, crafts and so forth. So it’s a fun filled day and I’m sure I could see from the smiles on the people’s faces, by the remarks that I’m getting from our visitors.”

Paul Mahung, Toledo Correspondent:  For the closing activity Catholic parishioners from town and Toledo rural Maya communities participated in the celebration of well attended Sunday morning Liturgy with chief celebrant Bishop Lawrence Nicasio and other priests of St.Peter Claver Parrish.