fiesta of San Peter and Saint Paul, the town's two patron saints. People divide up into two teams named after the saints and engage in a footrace around town, followed by a race of poled canoes around the island. There is music, dancing, food and, of course, plenty of cerveza, tequila and fireworks. San Pedro's teams nearly always win the competitions. The locals insist that there is no cheating involved. They arrange for his teams' victories by stacking them with the strongest competitors. The reason is that the town is vitally dependent upon fishing and San Pedro is the patron of fishermen. In a typically practical Mexican fashion, the local people are simply hedging their bets.
ejido means "shared or common land," a concept that has pre-hispanic origins. One of the goals of the campesinos (farm workers) in the Revolution was a re-distribution of land from the large hacienda owners to indigenous communities. Historically, such lands had often been illegitimately obtained or even seized outright by avaricious hacendados' (hacienda owners). Their aim was not only to obtain additional lands, but to force the now-landless people to provide cheap labor for the haciendas. Local ejidal organizations were created after the Revolution to receive, and hold in common, lands taken back from the hanciendas. The lands can be possessed and worked (but not "owned") by individuals unless they fail to use it for more than two years. Ejidos were embedded in the Mexican Constitution until 1991, when it was changed to allow the ejidal organizations, under certain circumstances, to sell land to individuals.
established in 1573 by a Royal decree of Spanish King Phillip II.
Maya World Tree became the Christian cross and the Aztec goddess Tonantzin became the Virgin of Guadalupe.
Toribio Romo Gonzales was ordained as a priest in 1922. Four years later the Cristero War began. It was an uprising by Catholic activists against the implementation of those provisions of the Mexican Constitution of 1917 which restricted the power and influence of the Church. Both the Revolutionary Government and its radical Catholic opponents committed atrocities in the 1926-1929 struggle. Father Toribio was martyred in 1928 in Agua Caliente, Jalisco, when soldiers burst into his room and shot him. He was one of a large number of Cristero War martyrs who were canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2000. In recent decades, undocumented immigrants trying to cross the deadly desert into the United States have reported encounters with Santo Toribio's ghost. He has informally become the patron saint of undocumented immigrant workers. The prominent positioning of his photo indicates that there may be many absent members of the community who have made the dangerous journey into the United States to help support their families. The families, in turn, pray for the safe return of their relatives.
This completes Part 4 of my San Blas series. If you have enjoyed it, I hope you'll take a moment and leave a comment or question in the Comments section below, or email me directly. If no one has commented before you, it may say "no comments" below. Just click on that and the comments page will appear.
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Hasta luego, Jim