Again I’m breaking this blog entry into two parts because of the number of pictures.

It’s Friday, June 14.

One of the things that drew me back to Guatemala was the festival of Santiago, where Suzannah thought I would be able to hear the typical sound of the San Lucas marching band at last. That was yesterday.  As usual, life didn’t meet my expectations and presented other surprises.  The procession on that day turned out not to be a big city-wide event, but some guys from the cofradias traipsing around all afternoon with the statue of Santiago, and drinking beer.  They couldn’t afford to hire a band during the day, and they just had a guy beating a drum out front.

But then that night, a much bigger crowd marched the image of Santiago around town to visit several of the cofradias, and there was music in the processions and also at the cofradias, even if it wasn’t that sound that has eluded me so far, and which I’ll have to come back during the Semana Santa in order to hear.  As the procession marched, there were three musical things happening simultaneously and without regard for each other.  Out front was an old guy carrying a drum and a guy beating on it, marching to their own drummer so to speak.

Behind them was a guitar band, and I don’t remember what that type of band is called but it’s traditional.  These guys were excellent singers, and they were singing in harmony, and they had their own drummer who was actually in rhythm with them, and best of all, they were playing acoustic guitars so you had to get close to even be able to hear them.  It’s hard to get a good picture in the dark with bright lights shining, but here’s some kind of idea.