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Photo by Tom Pablo, Andes & Amazon Semester.

San Miguel

This festival was beautiful and like nothing I really expected. I could have stayed there, watching everyone and everything pass by for days. I could have stayed on the little white lawn chairs, or on the grey sidewalk and watch people in their beautiful dresses and carrying their amazing instruments for the whole of the three day festival. It was just a fun atmosphere, everybody talking, my family around me, my two little sisters laughing and running around, sharing beers, sharing candy, sweets, laughing at a couple of jokes. Every group that passed had its own rhythm, instruments, and outfits. I loved the groups with the older women, with longs skirts, long braids and a confident, practiced way of dancing and holding themselves. I wondered if they had danced in the festival every year. I felt a sort of high held wisdom omitting from them, an untouchable confidence. It was. Beautiful! My favorite part of the parade was a huge group of seemingly high-school aged students that came through with long black robe looking dress and huge wooden platform sandals. It almost looked like an outfit from some dope samurai cartoon. They all held large drums that held a deep, steady rhythm. I loved it because of the mixture of youth and tradition.. its one of my favorite things to witness. How the youth of this generation experience and celebrate the customs their family and their ancestors have celebrated for years and years. It was just very cool to observe. The kids with the colored hair, different hairstyles, shaved, short, long, decorated, tattooed, pierced, beautiful, young, laughing, everything. Afterwards, we got into an afterparty where all the bands gathered together. There was a crazy influx of music and dancing. I found out that what was happening was a battle of music, the younger group of musicians, were battling the more traditional ones and we’re trying to out-jam the other. In other words, it was a wild, cacophony and jumping craze going on about and it was awesome.

Later, coming home, i felt a great feeling of gratitude to be where i was, being inspired by the things i felt inspired by. The world is beautiful, and it means so much of me to find places small but bursting with life such as these.