* update * i've tried several times to upload the videos, but they don't seem to be working. :(
cowboys and black jesus
in case you thought that cowboy culture is just a southern thing in the US, let me tell you right now, you are wrong. my history of us-latin american relations professor actually wrote a whole book about cowboy culture and was big on the latin american part of it all. if you think about it, cattle don't really care about imaginary lines that we draw on pieces of paper to mark "borders" between two countries. so it stands to reason that there are cowboys elsewhere. i got to experience this first-hand in nicaragua for the past two weekends.
there are several different versions of the legend, but the general consensus is that jesus with black skin showed up to one woman or several near volcán masaya about 300 years ago during the time of spanish colonialism. the town now celebrates during the fiestas patronales with a ten day long festival that starts with the hipica and then ends with a crucifix with black jesus being carried through the streets of the city. you can find the different versions of the legend here.
cowboys and dancing horses
|chilling at the hipica|
cowboys and bulls
|we had no idea what "exciting" was going to mean|
|wait, the bull is coming up the stairs!?!?!?|
|i don't think his day ended well.|
|fireworks in the main square|
sunday morning marked trinity sunday and the celebration of black jesus. i went to mass to view the festivities and the place was packed. i got there at 915 with my host sister and the church was already full. the service didn't even get under way until about 1015. crazy stuff. the bishop was even there! it was like a huge fan fest when he walked in. people started cheering and clapping. someone was shouting "viva el obispo! viva el papa! viva jesus christo!" etc. it was super hot and crowded though, so i ducked out before the end of the service.
|the start of the procession around town|
so that's the main stuff that's been happening around here lately. it's a cultural experience every day. the one thing i can count on every day is rice and beans. :)