Adventure in Mexico #5 – An RV Truck and a Mexican Parade

An RV Truck and a Mexican Parade

An RV Truck and a Mexican Parade

By Malcolm Callister

The Organization

As visitors from Canada, Linda and I were honored to be asked to drive in the November 2nd, 2018, Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead), parade in Ajijic, Mexico.  These people are all celebrating life, they all know loss.  A big truck was required to transport a group of gringo dancers dressed as Zombies, from the Cemetery to the Main Square. We have a truck, we tow a Travel Trailer.

Parade Route

The parade route is over narrow cobblestone streets lined with parked cars, people laughing, pushing, clapping, and singing.  The roads are decorated with strings of intricately cut, colorful tissue paper picado flags.  The food vendors are everywhere, the crowds must be fed.

The Parade

We follow the lead vehicle, a Mariachi band, walking Zombies and young women dancing in brightly colored dresses. Spectators join the dancing, then filter back to the sidewalk.

The parade has its own hypnotic rhythm as it moves slowly forward.  Walkers join the parade, pushing the truck further back. The parade has many Mariachi bands and singers, each with their favorite songs.

With truck windows open, the aroma and sounds communicate the feeling of Fiesta. We consider calling for food.

Three tier altars built for the spirits of the deceased loved ones are passed on the narrow sidewalks.  Candles flicker and picado flags flutter around the photographs.

At an altar to a grandfather, I see a cigar and tequila below his photograph. The living in this house will be rewarded with a visit from his spirit tonight.

The zombies in the bed of the truck are throwing candies for children.  The young boys dive to the road to collect candies, dangerously close to the truck. Their mothers and sisters stand back safely and wait. The family haul of candies will be shared. The men stand in groups watching, smoking, drinking.

The Square

The lead vehicle is pushing a path through the crowd towards Ajijic’s main Square.  It looks like a single living mass of humanity moving over the square and road, barely space for the trucks to pass.  We manage, with our side mirrors folded in. Then stationary surrounded by happy people.

The walkers and my passengers drift off.  We truck drivers are left, forgotten, the fiesta rules.

The Parade Masters’ happy smiling face, under his big sombrero, appears at my window.

“Muchas gracias mi amigo el desfile ha terminado” (Thank you, very much, my friend, the parade is over).

He tells me the road in front is blocked. I will have to reverse the two-hundred meters through the crowd or stay overnight and enjoy the Fiesta.

A truly incredible experience, giving a totally different view of a Fiesta parade, but now for Linda, and I, the party is over.

M&L tip of the Week.

Driving in Mexico.  When towing a trailer on a two-lane road straddle the hard shoulder white line, put your left indicator on, indicating to other traffic that they can pass.