Youth invaded San Pancho and turned this sleepy village into the hottest party since Spring Break '98 (oh you remember don't you Kate?). I kept expecting a dude with a giant sombrero to approach with a bottle of tequila and a whistle. He never did, but I still got swept into the spirit of the party on the beach.
We ate fish-on-a-stick and really salty delicious popcorn that the lady picking up trash was selling. We drank lots of beers and let the kids eat those cheetos that were more puff than cheese. There were so many new street meat options. The hippies had an entirely different line of hemp & feather jewelry. There was music on the beach and instead of people trying to out ghetto blast one another, it seemed that they would take turns cranking their tunes and it was fun (except for that dude who played Incubus - really guy - Incubus?)
Hundreds of people pitched tents and camped on the beach of San Pancho because it was Semana Santa. High Holy Week is the week before Easter - schools & government offices are closed. And yes - a lot of the campers were college-aged party animals, but there were just as many tents full of families. Rumor has it that years ago, men used to come down a week early and scope out their family spot on the beach. They'd build little huts with palm fronds and bamboo, where generations would then spend their vacation playing la loteria and drinking Coca-Cola.
There were still huts but no one came that early. The masses descended on town from huge buses starting on Wednesday. The streams of people dragging their coolers and pillows down Tercer Mundo looked like hatchling turtles returning to the sea.
Some partied too hard. Some got super super sunburnt. Some used it as an opportunity to make money. Some just stared out at the ocean and took it easy - enjoying this beautiful place.
Along with the rumors came warnings about the noise and chaos the crowds would bring. Yes, there was that. But it was way more fun to just go with the festive vibe.