San Pedro—The City of Handprints
Upon arriving in San Pedro, I quickly noticed all the tiny different colored handprints located on street buildings and road signs leading everywhere around the small town. We were told that the handprints were a part of the town’s Carnival’s tradition, and that we had just previously missed it. San Pedro’s Carnival is similar to the New Orleans Mardi Gras, by the meaning, not size. It takes place during the week leading up to Ash Wednesday and the Lenten season. It is a pagan celebration that allows them to indulge in all the pleasures that they choose to give up during lent. This carnival is put on by the local government and usually lasts a week long, leading up to the painting event. On the very last day of this festival, participants flood the street to paint everyone and everything that can possibly be painted. They use a mixture of water paint and either water or raw eggs to dilute the paint. The goal of this carnival is to paint as many people as you can but, as you can imagine, this ‘game’ is more out of fun than of competition. Although I’m sad that I missed the actual festival, the remnants still remain for the locals, tourists, and teachers to look at.