Partying in Latin America: Las Fiestas Posted by sasha on Aug 27, 2020 in Entertainment, Mexican culture, South American Culture, Videos
We’re keeping things fun here on the Spanish blog this month. Be sure to check out the posts about partying in Spanish and Carnaval if you missed them. Hoy voy a escribir sobre las fiestas en América Latina (Today I’m going to write about the parties in Latin America). In my travels across the region these past three years, I’ve attended some really fun fiestas and I’m excited to share some of them with you! From salsa bars to national holidays to music festivals, there’s always something exciting going on.
Hay muchas fiestas increíbles en México (There are many amazing parties in Mexico). Mexicans don’t really need an excuse to party, but they’ve got plenty of them! The country has many different holidays and festivals throughout the year.
One of the most important is el Día de la Independencia de México (Mexico’s Independence Day), which is celebrated on September 16th. Hay desfiles, conciertos, fiestas y más (There are parades, concerts, parties, and more). This is a fiesta that actually goes on for a few days!
On the night of the 15th, crowds gather in the main square to hear “El Grito de Dolores” (The Cry of Dolores) – the famous call for independence given by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla in 1810. Everyone in the crowd joins in chanting “¡Viva México!” (Long live Mexico!).
The party really gets going after that, with los fuegos artificiales y la música de mariachi (fireworks and mariachi music). Por supuesto, también hay mucha cerveza y comida deliciosa (Of course, there’s also plenty of beer and delicious food).
You can read all about Mexico’s Independence Day in this post and check out a video highlight of the celebrations in Puerto Vallarta here:
The small city of Antigua, Guatemala is famous for its processions during Semana Santa (Holy Week). Las procesiones de Semana Santa en Antigua son las más grandes del mundo (The Holy Week processions in Antigua are the largest in the world).
In these processions, large groups carry andas (altars) that depict scenes from the Bible. People work tirelessly to decorate alfombras (carpets) on the cobblestone streets made of flowers, sawdust, fruit, and pine needles. People travel from all over the world to be a part of this very festive occasion.
While the Easter celebrations in Antigua are very well known, you may be surprised to find out that this small, conservative city in Guatemala is also home to quite the underground party scene!
Hay muchos bares en Antigua, pero cierran temprano (There are many bars in Antigua, but they close early). Some close as early as 11 PM while even the “late night” places only stay open until 1. So where do all the party animals go once the clock strikes one?
Todos los sábados hay una fiesta en la piscina (Every Saturday, there is a party in a pool). This isn’t your typical pool party, though, as there’s no water! The party, known locally as El Santo Perdido (The Lost Saint) is basically a rave in an empty pool. It goes all night long and attracts a mix of locals, expats, and tourists.
Una vez al mes, también hay una fiesta en la mansión (Once a month, there’s also a mansion party). This mansion is about halfway between Antigua and Guatemala City. It’s up on a hill and offers some tremendous views of the capital in the distance.
The mansion fiesta is an actual pool party during the day and it transforms into a bumping dance party at night. Hardcore party-goers stay to watch el amanecer (the sunrise) before heading home to catch some much needed z’s. It’s definitely one of the most fun fiestas I’ve ever been to!
En Costa Rica, fui a un festival de música internacional y a un festival local (In Costa Rica, I went to an international music festival and a local festival). The Envision Festival takes place in the small town of Uvita on the southwest coast. It’s gotten quite big and attracts a large crowd from all corners of the globe.
Actually, it’s not just a music festival. It’s also very focused on yoga, art, sustainability, and surfing. Hay muchas clases y talleres durante el día (There are many classes and workshops during the day).
Later in the day, a large crowd gathers on the beach for el atardecer (the sunset). It’s quite the sight to behold, with drum circles, fire twirlers, and much more. La música iba hasta el amanecer cada noche (The music went until sunrise every night). I didn’t make it that late but I still had a blast at Envision! You can get a little taste of what this festival is like in this video:
De la playa viajamos a las montañas (From the beach, we traveled to the mountains). Specifically, we went to the town of La Fortuna. It’s a beautiful place and one of the most popular destinations in Costa Rica.
La Fortuna tiene volcanes, cascadas, un hermoso lago y mucho más (La Fortuna has volcanoes, waterfalls, a beautiful lake, and much more). While we were in town, there just so happened to be a local festival going on. One night, we went outside to find a bunch of vaqueros (cowboys) parading through the streets on horseback.
After asking around, we learned that there was actually a whole carnival in town for the occasion. There were rides and games for the kids as well as a packed bar with live music for the grown-ups. Best of all, there was even a rodeo! I had never been to one and had so much fun. ¡Los ticos son gente muy amable y divertida! (The Ticos are very friendly and fun people!). Be sure to check out my post about traveling in Costa Rica if you missed it.