la danza de la mascarada

Audience and Dancers Mingle in
Portico of St. Rafael Church

The Masquerade Dance at End of the St. Rafael Week of Celebration & Worship honoring the patron saint of Atenas. It was a colorful, musical bit of chaos. The band played and the teens and children in costumes or paper mache masks “danced” or jumped around during the music. The audience walked in and out of the dancers and sometimes danced with them or talked with them.There was no organization or dancing talent demonstrated, though the brass and drum band was pretty good. It all took place under a portico of the St. Rafael Catholic Church in center of town as one of many events during the last full day of the Patron Saint Celebration. I went for the colorful photo possibilities and here they are!

I missed the Mass and children’s choir and the line was too long to eat at the church, so afterwards I went to La Carreta and ate Arroz con Pollo or chicken and rice for lunch with a Lemucha rice milkshake, like a Horchata but with ice cream instead of just milk! Really good!

(I’m assuming you know that if a site I link to, like the two above, are in the Spanish language you can right-click on the site page and get an English translation of the site in just seconds.)

Brass Band with Drums – A lot of these in town!

Lunch was served cafeteria style in church fellowship hall with good homemade Tico food, but line was too long for me!
St. Rafael

In case you did not see my 18 October Post on the carnival part of this patron saint celebration, you can see it at this link:  Atenas Celebrates Patron Saint  There have been activities going on all day every day and many announced with loud fireworks and the ringing of church bells. Interesting! There is a statue of St. Rafael in the church surrounded by smaller statues of other saints as if honoring him. Here’s a not very good photo of the statue of St. Rafael the Archangel. 

“The closing years of life are like the end of a masquerade party, when the masks are dropped.”~Cesare Pavese

Celebrating Atenas’ Patron Saint

In October every year Atenas Catholics celebrate the city’s Patron Saint
San Rafael Arcángel or Saint Rafael the Archangel (link gives details)
It began Friday night with dancing and the carnival on church lawn below
and continues through Mass on 25 October. I hope I haven’t already missed
the masquerade dance which is usually part of it. Last night was just carnival.
I’m guessing next Friday and Saturday nights will be bigger, especially 24th.

Lots of food booths and kiddie rides like these little cars on street by church

Tilt-a-whirl and Ferris-wheel of course for older kids & trampoline for smaller

algodón de azúcar or Cotton Candy at most fiestas
along with many kinds of pastries including meat-filled

And of course a merry-go-round with cute horses is necessary!
Everything here is very family-oriented, conservative and inexpensive.

You guys at First Baptist Nashville can just think of this as their version of your “Fall Festival” for the children. It just lasts longer here! I don’t often go downtown at night much, but hope to go again and maybe catch the masquerade dance, probably next Friday or Saturday night.

  1. X-RAYS EVALUATED by my doctor indicate I have twin babies, Dr. Candy joked with me, baby bone spurs on each heel. For now she has prescribed a pill to take as needed and soak the sore foot (my right one now) in ice water to relieve the pain. If it gets worse she will send me to a specialist who will give an injection in the heel that sometimes helps. Last resort is surgery, a long way down the path if ever for me. 
  2. RUFOUS-COLLARED SPARROW in my house again the other day. Before I got him chased out (waving a towel) he pooped several times on floor and once on my bed’s blanket (time to wash anyway). Funny thing is the same day I got an email from Bonnie Meriwether suggesting I get a screen door. I’m considering that if the landlord approves, although this is still a rare thing and the insects and lizards cannot be kept out. My sliding glass door does have sliding screens which I close at dark, but usually leave open in day since I twice walked through those screens. An open house is just the way it is done here by everyone.
  3. HABLO ESPAÑOL MAS AHORA (I speak Spanish more now) but still a long way from fluent or even good conversations. It is very slow learning for me and part of the reason is I live alone and don’t socialize enough with Spanish-speakers. I always try to talk about the weather or traffic with taxi drivers in Spanish, order in Spanish in restaurants, and communicate somewhat in other businesses and the bank. Of course the Spanish Class is Spanish-only now and a friend from it will spend time with me “practicing” when I request or schedule, like the time I had him over for pizza.  Poco a poco (slowly, slowy).
  4. MORE RAIN THIS WEEK like it is suppose to be in “Rainy Season” with even more than last week getting rain every afternoon and most nights which is really nice for sleep! Old timers say there is no way to get enough rain to make up for the dry winter and dry season starts in November or December. 
  5. My taxi in Alajuela drove by the new CITY MALL under construction and scheduled to open
    Architect’s Drawing of Main Entrance
    A 45 minute bus ride away for me.

    in November, the largest mall in Costa Rica and 2nd largest in Central America! And Alajuela is already where I go to shop, so I’m ready! While my rich friends drive to San Jose or Escazu shopping where it is more difficult for me on the bus. City Mall already has a Facebook Page, You Tube Videos,  and a bunch of pictures plus lots of articles online and in local papers and magazines. It will have a parking garage for 2,600 cars and is the largest mall ever built in Central America in one stage. Panama has one that was later enlarged that is now larger. Our current largest mall is in the Escazu area of San Jose and will really have a lot of competition now. Alajuela is closer to me and easier to get to by bus than San Jose, so I’m glad, though . . . I am really not a mall shopper where everything is more expensive and even more so here. But I may go to their cinema! 🙂  Or to look for a hard-to-find item. Or to eat in one of their restaurants! 

A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.~Mahatma Gandhi