El Sabor de Guanacaste Festival

Last Friday, July 25, my girl Lydia and I attended a local art festival named El Sabor de Guanacaste (The Flavor of Guanacaste) in Flamingo Beach.  Guanacaste is the province of Costa Rica that I live in and July 25 is Guanacaste Day, celebrating the independence of the zone from Nicaragua - making it a part of Costa Rica in 1824. 

We've attended a handful of fairs in Flamingo over the past few years, but honestly, they've always been a little disappointing.  There was always very little foot traffic or community/tourist interest.   So when we heard about this one, initially we were kinda' on the fence as to whether or not we wanted to close our shops for the day and head over there.  In the past, it just hasn't been worth it.  However, after a few conversations with one of the organizers, Raquel (who we would soon discover was on her "A" game), we decided that the event seemed like it would be well promoted and attended.  We really liked the fact that there would be live music and that there were a decent amount of confirmed artists.  

The space that the artists were in was a covered patio with lots of natural light and fresh air.  (Although it was like a 100000 degrees that day so even the breezy air felt like you were standing in front of an open oven!)  The day started with a parade with kids from the local schools, some dressed up in traditional clothing, others marching in a band that pounded out a beat that made even the least rhythmic person want to move.  
Right after the parade, people started milling around and soon after, the bands started to perform.  There was a good turnout -- lots of locals and tourists, which is always a nice mix.

The Lovely Ms. Lydia 

My table
Traditional Chorotega/Guaitil Pottery from Jesus and Susan 
Paintings by Jose Jackson
I love photography.  It's one of my favorite art forms, so I really enjoyed the photography by photographer Royden Alvaro.  His photographs tell stories of life in Guanacaste.  Fiestas, bull riding, borrachos (drunks) dancing in the street, really capturing the moment.  You gotta check out his website and see his photos from Costa Rica, Cuba and the rest of his portfolio.

Of course, I have to include at least one photo of a dog!! :)
A staple of culinary culture here in Guanacaste is corn tortillas so of course there were ladies making them from scratch and cooking them over a wood fire.  If you've never had tortillas fresh off the griddle, you've missed out on one of life's finest pleasures.
The music was awesome.  A great mix of electronic, traditional, rock and reggae bands.  Tamarindo's own Glass Eye performed.   These guys rock.

One of the big things of this festival was the different workshops available for the kids to participate in.  Lydia hostessed a painting class and I hostessed a beading class.  It's always fun to see what the kids come up with when left to their own creative devices.
My Beading Class

Lyd's painting class.
What kid doesn't like drawing on the cement with chalk. Heck, I still like to draw on the cement!!
In the late afternoon, a traditional dance troupe named Colpachi performed.  Being from the States, one thing I really love here is seeing young people enjoying their rich heritage.  In the States, we just don't have any thing traditional like folk dancing, so seeing "kids" immersed in their traditions that have been handed down over and over, is something that I always love to watch.

The festival lasted until much later, but we left for home and cold showers (!!!) around 5ish.  I think I speak for us both that we were glad that we went.  It was fun, productive, entertaining, and best of all we got to spend the day together.  Awwwww.

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