San Jose Palmar Village to Host Fiesta Del Pueblo
The twenty-second Fiesta Del Pueblo is going to be held this weekend in San Jose Palmar Village, Orange Walk. The fest is held annually to commemorate the founding of the village and to celebrate Yucatec culture. Vice President of the Northern Maya Association, Arturo Cantun, says festivities include traditional dances, a chance to watch a Pok Ta Pok game, and booths will be showcasing an array of traditional dishes.
Arturo Cantun, VP, Northern Maya Association of Belize: ” The day starts with a religious activity. There is going to be a mass. This is being coordinated by the Palmar culture group and it’s gonna be in honor of the 86th anniversary of the founding of San Jose Palmar. Following that theNorthern Maya Association of Belize takes over and we start with a parade from Liberty Avenue in Orange Walk Town, it makes it’s way into San Jose Palmar. That is going to be followed by a short ceremony the opening ceremony for the activity where we are gonna have a recognition of some cultural promoters of the north and then we immediately go into the performances, the dances, the music, the games, display of the Pok A Tok game we’re gonna have children participating as well so we have a children’s Pok A Tok group from Yo Creek they’re gonna be displaying the game and inviting children to participate and learn how to play the game. We have a lot of booths, food booths that are going to be there showcasing how these meals are prepared such as Chimole, Tamales, PokChuk, Posole, the famous Pibil, Escabeche, if you know Braso de Reina, the Atole which is the corn drink, the Maha Blanco from the rice, Balanche which is a special ritual drink that is made out of the root of the tree so these are just some of the things that we are gonna be having on display.”
This year, the festival will coincide with the Indigenous Peoples Resistance Day weekend, which is going to be observed on Monday, October 10. Cantun says this is only fitting to hold the festival close to this date.
Arturo Cantun, VP, Northern Maya Association of Belize: “The reason why we’re celebrating it that day is because the founding of San Jose Palmar is on October 8th and the closest weekend happens to be the 12th of October. It’s not much about because it is the 12th of October holiday it is because the founding of San Jose Palmar happened on October 8th 1936. So we just decided you know we already have a long weekend might as well we take it to the closest weekend around the 8th and that is how the whole idea started about celebrating it on that specific day. This year like you pointed out it’s gonna be the first day that Belizeans are gonna be celebrating Indigenous People’s Resistance Day and we think that it’s just a coincidence and a good coincidence to highlight the indigenous people, issues that affect us are many; lack of opportunities, access to resources, education. We also started to incorporate the celebration of the Yucatec heritage through different elements from its food, music, dances and that is the main focus of the festival one day to highlight the Yucatec culture.”
Fiesta Del Pueblo will be held on Sunday, October 9, at the Maximo Perez Plaza commencing at seven o’clock in the morning.