I love the small towns of Latin America and one of my favourites is Todos Santos Cuchumatán in the western highlands of Guatemala.  The surrounding mountain scenery is spectacular, the air crisp and fresh and the culture of the Mam people is well preserved in town.  Virtually all the native inhabitants of the village wear their traditional dress all of the time.  The Mam people continue to speak Mam – a Mayan language, and speak Spanish as a second language.

While the folk can seem somewhat reserved they are quick to greet with a ‘buenos días’ or ‘buenas tardes’  as the hour indicates.

Saturday, however, is the day when reservedness is shunted and the town breaks out in market chaos.  The town is overtaken with vendors and people stream into town from the surrounding villages and countryside.  The bars fill up, plenty of gallo beer is drunk, music blares and everyone stands to their two left feet.

I met these two gentleman with their loyal companion towards the end of another bout of Saturday revelry.

Peter W Davies

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