Every fair has its own distinct flavor, depending on a number of factors, chief among them is how devout the town is. This determines to what degree the fair is a religious occasion focusing on ceremonial processions or whether it is chiefly a fun fair.
A time for families to gather together and go to the cemeteries where they paint and clean up the graves of family members, honor their ancestors with flowers, candles and prayers, burn incense and bring picnics to share.
In recent years, San Pedro Guatemala has attracted only a smattering of tourists who attend the celebrations, while many, both Guatemalan and foreign, stay downhill from town in the tourist zone, vacationing among the many bars and restaurants, and perhaps kayaking and horseback riding.
As I walk through the main streets and the neighborhood side streets of Panajachel Guatemala and other small towns, I always see children playing in groups. Morning, afternoon, and in the safe dark of evening, little groups of boys and girls play fútbol, race, play hide and seek.