Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Carnival de Caracol

Hondurans love to celebrate and usually do so with scheduled Carnivals or parades. Some events, like Independence Day (Sept. 15th) are regularly-scheduled affairs and include the whole island of Guanaja. This year the City’s Fathers decided to coax tourists from the coast with our own Carnival de Caracol (Conch). Activities were scheduled for all week beginning with the crowning of the Island Queen on Monday, July 28th. There were boat races, parades, lots of food and drink, dancing contests and even artistic presentations (whatever that meant)!

While we did not attend the crowning of the Queen or, for that fact, some of the other festivities, we did manage to make one of the celebrations held on Josh Cay a/k/a Graham’s Cay.

The weather was splendid – clear skies, sunny with a slight breeze. The festivities started at about noon (or thereabouts if you know what I mean) and went on well into the evening. There was barbeque with chicken and pork and lots of refreshments.We had an efficient, friendly bartender who made sure that everyone had what they wanted. He worked hard and had a smile the whole day. There was a backup bar just in case you encountererd a line at the first bar!

A one-man band consisting of a gentleman from Roatan who played the keyboard and sang was clearly a plus. One of the favorite pastimes of Hondurans, I truly believe, is dancing, so music is a very important component to a festival!

Besides dancing, there was swimming, impromptu soccer games, sand castle building, relaxing, eating, drinking, visiting - heck, you could even take a siesta if you wanted to!

The host, Sr. Graham, was busy making sure everything went well and, as you can see from the photo, added a bit of color to the festivities.

Young and old alike attended and from all observations, a good time was had by all. Heck, even the parrot looked like he wanted to get out and dance!
There were even "future" Caracols there!

Here's some more of our lovelies!

The festivities were watched over by several policemen who were friendly and alert. It took some convincing to get this gentlemen to almost smile he was so serious about his job.

We saw babies, young people, older people; well, just about everyone. Beads were worn and colorful T-shirts and hats were observed. There was a lot of time to soak up the sun and just have a pleasant day with your fellow islanders.
I got a kick out of what people will wear, i.e., T-shirts and hats and the phrases:

There are a lot of activities scheduled for the rest of the week and I hope that all goes as planned because a lot of effort was put into this celebration. The festival is to culminate with a re-enactment of Columbus’ landing on the island being greeted by the native Indians.

It is going to be a lot to pull off in one week especially since this is their first Carnival. I wish the best to all those involved who worked so hard to make this a success. Hopefully we’ll have another Carnival next year and it will be better than the first!


  1. This looks GREAT! Thanks for the post, must admit, I'm eating my heart out! ;-)


  2. Wow, a big party at Graham's? Whodathunkit? Brought back some (drunken) memories though - evidently I spent a LOT of time there.

    Couple of comments:

    1. The bartender...Rene! Glad he's back, he belongs there. Sadly, I guess he's back from trying to make it big running his own place on the mainland. Ah well...

    2. Marsden and Graham ("Our Host"). Nice shot! Say what you will about them, but those two old guys were okay by me. When you see them again, tell them I said "Hi."

    3. And unless my eyes deceive me, isn't that Daniel(!) in the blue shorts on the dock (in the picture of Graham and Marsden playing cards with their Heineken coasters)? I'd know that bald head anywhere.

    Man, this makes me sorry I missed Carnival de Caracol. I might just have to come back down for the next one.

    You know, I was in a store buying a bottle of wine the other day, and "accidentally" strolled down the rum aisle. There, on the shelf were a bunch of bottles of Flor de Cana. Ooooh, I started getting nauseous just thinking about how much of that stuff I drank. Couldn't bring myself to buy a bottle though, not even for "old times" sake.

    Nice story. Great pics too!