Video of El Petén Annual Fair

15 JANUARY: This traditional Parade in Flores, Petén is more than 100 years old. The procession always carries the figure of LA CHATONA which is a big doll. La Chatona originally was a woman who would go along with the “CHICLEROS” the guys who got the chicle for all our chewing gum. These adventurers combed the entire jungle for wild chicle trees to tap for their “latex.” They would set up semi-perminant jungle camps. La Chatona was the camp cook. At the end of a season, the men would be partying and La Chatona, being the only woman, would dance around with everyone, thus the tradition of all the men dressing up like La Chatona. It is a homage to this daring woman who was willing to go and live in the jungle with a bunch of wild guys. I believe that they treated her with all due respect. They depended upon her for their daily tortillas and beans and “caldo de faisan.”

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