Coraza and Pendoneros Fiesta

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San Rafael Fiesta

During the beginning of June, San Rafael celebrates its fiestas with the entire community with various activities for themselves and foreigners - a fiesta to which everyone is invited.  During this time tourists can learn about the customs and traditions of this town.

Here are some of the more relevant activities.

The Pendoneros

This is part of the community celebration.   It begins with a mass at the church of the San Miguel parish.  At the end of the mass, a priest offers drink and food for all present- then accompanied by traditional music played by a local band there is dancing in the streets in the center of the parish until the early hours of the morning with everyone participating.     

According to the town's elderly, the red flags symbolize the blood of their enemies defeated in battle. 

The shared meals usually consist of: prepared corn beverage, potatoes, hominy, guinnea pig, farm hen, liquor and fermented corn beverage

El Coraza

El Coraza is a very important personality in the fiestas, he has colorful, well made clothing, suspended jewerly and colorful feathers, and is mounted on a horse accompanied by praises.

It is a very interesting celebration, from beginning to end, until the moment El Coraza completes the procession.  A very important element of the celebration is the clothing made several days before.  Once completed the outfit is taken the priest's house then foods such as corn colada, roasted and baked guinnea pig, baked potatoes; and drinks like a fermented corn beverage, moonshine and other liquors are shared with everyone present.  After the meal, el Coraza mounts his horse and begins the procession towards the main street of the town accompanied by hundreds of visitors, a local music band and local authorities.    

The procession finishes at the main park where the celebration continues until the late hours of the night.

Reed Horse Competition

The adjoining communities of San Pablo are present during the fiestas for a very interesting competition that consists of crossing the lake on small reed vessels called horses.  In each boat there are two people that must row for 30 to 60 miinutes. It is a race that calls a lot of attention to begin the morning. 

During the community celebration you can also enjoy local cuisine and handicrafts.