Day of the Dead

You’d think our biggest struggle around the holidays for the kids would be Christmas. Far from friends and family, no snow, serious limits on the presents…or maybe Thanksgiving? But no; on our boat, the biggest struggle is Hallowe’en.

It’s not so much the costumes or the candy; back in our old neighborhood, Hallowe’en was a serious community event, and our block was the epicenter, thanks to our friend Cooper’s haunted house. By the end of the night, all the kids would be across the street in his yard, running around like maniacs. Costumes, we can make; last year, we trick-or-treated the docks in Charleston; but we can’t put our kids back with their friends for the night.

This year, neither kid wanted to dress up if there were no other kids around. The marina is pretty sparsely populated, as well—not too exciting to trick-or-treat the two other cruisers and the office. Instead, we went with Distraction. Look over here—it’s the Day of the Dead!

Tamarind skulls and puffed amaranth on a stick
Tamarind skulls with chile and puffed amaranth on a stick

We kicked things off by watching Guillermo del Toro’s movie, Book of Life, which we all loved (thanks, John!). The next day, we caught a collectivo into town to check out the scene.DSC_2634

We were lucky to stumble on a competition for the best oferta and best Catrina right off the main square. The winners:DSC_2627

…although I was partial to this one:DSC_2631

This celebratory bread was a gift from a fellow cruiser, alone with some extra heads so I can bake my own
This celebratory bread was a gift from a fellow cruiser, alone with some extra heads so I can bake my own

Notice the skeleton crawling towards the plastic-strewn “water.” The little tripod in the front held some kind of burning incense, and they all had tequila on offer somewhere. Ofertas were set up in the official government office where we paid for our TIP, with a statue of the Virgin Mary at the head; there was also a big one at the Wal-Mart, with a prominent pic of Sam Walton.

Pan dulce for Day of the Dead
Pan dulce for Day of the Dead

We made sure to stock up on special Day of the Dead treats, as well. After so much time in Panama and Costa Rica, we are so extremely happy to be in a country with a serious food culture. Our restrictions on restaurant meals have flown out the window, especially since we know we can eat really well for not much money. Four days in country, three meals out–that’s a record, for sure, and we’ve no plans to put on the brakes. Chocolate- and coffee-tinged mole, taquitos, grilled meats, table-side salsa prep, heaps of guacamole, chilaquiles, platters of tacos…and we’re just getting started.DSC_2623

4 Comments on “Day of the Dead

  1. Beautiful Day of the Dead photos! And the food is making my mouth water- sounds delish! Glad you are taking it all in, so to speak 🙂

  2. Hello Milou family! Enjoying your blog! But where exactly are you right now?! Can’t believe you’re still out there. Our trip feels so long ago! Sophia and I are back into the full swing of school and work but Jim has had the hardest adjustment and still pines for the boat and the water and the comradery of sailing dads who like to spearfish! Thinking of you. Take care! – The Wildcats

    • Hey, Frankie! We’re actually in Guatemala at the moment; we left the boat at Marina Chiapas and went overland for a week of Spanish school in Xela. We also miss our group of families from the Wildcat days–kid boats have been hard to find on the Pacific side. Looking forward to finding more families as we explore Mexico. Glad to hear you are 2/3 reintegrated to normal society…you need one outlier to be the ideas person, anyway. Hi to all from the Milous.

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