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The Caribbean reached to the always touristic San Juan del Sur

Faustino Salcedo | Jun 18, 2012

The Caribbean Star comparsa from Bluefields, during its presentation at the malecon. | Photographer: Faustino Salcedo

The music, cuisine and tourist services of the Caribbean were presented the weekend in that city.

Due to the characteristics of each region of Nicaragua, this is a multicultural country, reason why it is more attractive. This past Saturday 16 and Sunday June 17 in San Juan del Sur, Rivas, there was a mixture of cultures through the "Tourism Caravan" of the Caribbean, which exposed food, music and tourism services and attractions of that area of the country. In this chronicle with coastal flavor, I will relate what happened the first day of the event in this port city with great tourist attraction.

The scenario was the malecon of San Juan del Sur. The protagonists were the tourism entrepreneurs, artisans and artists from the North and South Caribbean of Nicaragua. The audience however was somewhat difficult to define because there were people from around the country and the world. The attendees were from the inhabitants of San Juan del Sur to the tourists who were unaware of the Touristic Caravan and everything that was going to happen. The reason: promote tourism of the Caribbean coast and attract more visitors to the area.

Arriving at San Juan del Sur many thoughts about the late night parties that are organized there can lurk the heads of the visitors, but they never thought of meeting with the rhythms of Palo de Mayo there, in the month of June in the Pacific of Nicaragua. In the city there was a Caribbean ambiance felt with music playing since 2:00 pm on Saturday, time at which the speakers were already installed, however, the event opened until 5:00 pm.

At the moment of been in the boardwalk there was a fair environment. People came as the intensity of the music increased, also with the help of the rumors circulating mouth to mouth about what was happening. A lady said to her companion to try the “Patí” (Caribbean pastry pie shaped) of fish that was being offered in one of the exhibitors tents, while two girls next to were asking for the coconut rum, which was in high demand like the Garifuna fermented liquor, called Guiffiti, offered as an aphrodisiac with healing qualities, effective for respiratory diseases.

In the gastronomy they could not miss the famous Rondon (run-down), the most recognized typical food of the Caribbean. They were offering this dish in the restaurant awning Prearl Lagoon, Moon Ranch, its owner, Eddy Monterrey, said that these events give good promotion to different companies and that he expects to see results in his business in a long term. There was also Jimmy Carter’s Rondon, who produced the world's largest Rondon in the past festivals in the month of May in Bluefields. Carter said it's important that this dish is known all over the country.

After the opening the cultural event began with the presentation of the Caribbean Star Comparsa, whose members delighted the audience with their dances, rhythms and the unusual act of peeling a coconut with their teeth. The Caribbean was taking over a part of the Pacific, with its culture, its music and its people. Then the Ballet of the Bluefields Indian and Caribbean University (BICU) appeared, the dancers got into the stage three times. Before closing the event, the Garifuna group “Ruguma” appeared, who interacted with the public, and everyone started dancing and singing.

The darkness overshadowed the red sunsets protagonists of the photographs, to make way for the nightlife. Usually in places with high tourism security is often a major concern. The Mayor of the City, Jorge Sanchéz said that they are working on an interagency commission to develop plans against crime.

The caravan ended with the music of the Jamaican Bob Marley played by the Nicaraguan Philip Montalbán. Then, a makeshift caravan of artists left the place dancing “Palo de Mayo” to the beat of the drums of the parade. With this, the first day of the "Tourim Caravan" ended. The next day it was held in the same place, but that's another story. The next Caravan will be on Saturday June 23rd in Matagalpa, where the center of the country (Chontales and Rio San Juan) will be exhibiting their tourism offer. San Juan del Sur was conquered, and the night contributed to finish combining both cultures.

Translated by Aída Pichardo