Back in 2008 we wrote about the December 12th Virgen Celebration in colonial Ursulo Galvan, in Xico, Veracruz. We have noted in the past few years spending October through April here in Puerto is a different experience from our time living in Ursulo Galvan. There are not the heavy Catholic overtones of Xico. The religion of surfing trumps Catholicism here in the hidden port.
However all the Catholic hormones of religiosity are accompanied by some serious drinking testosterone of some of the hombres of the Hood. In 2008 we wrote this about some of the local Xico borrachos during the December 12th Celebration:
“Before noon the crowds already started to gather – front row seats were expensive; if one considers the fact time is money. Libations were being ingested even before the clock struck twelve noon – the early inebriated being a symbol of defiance and stubbornness towards all things rational – the social lubricant packaged in spent 32 ounce plastic soda bottles. The mixture within its chief ingredient being agua ardiente – sweetened straight alcohol. In the stores they call it Liquor de Cana – in the Hood it is caña or agua ardiente; when not around my Gonzo Compadres, I call it sugar with pure grain alcohol. In the Hood it can be purchased in gallon plastic containers for about 30 pesos….
Police and ambulance vehicles were just behind the ten deep crowds. Inside the rails were the machos and borrachos. Mostly clown like shabby little fellows whose job at this time was to entertain or so they thought. They staggered around as if they were bulls themselves, scraping the ground with a defiant foot, rebelliously rubbing empty 32 once soda containers against the pavement and pulling off their shirts to use as toreador capes. Occasionally a couple hombres would help a third from falling – a sign of their undying camaraderie. You knew some of these fellows were not going to leave that ‘arena’ unscathed whether the bulls showed up or not.”
This December 12th it was the innocent that were not all going to go home safely.
With a pickup truck as his weapon of choice a 22 year old drunken kid smashed through the barrier assembled to keep the bulls contained within a few corridored blocks.
In the mayhem that ensued two women were injured and a 65 year old Xico man was killed. One bull was hit as well.
The fellow managed to avoid capture and headed off to the pueblo Coatepec, some five miles away. In the meantime it is reported about 40 men with rocks and machetes had formed a lynching party and were in hot pursuit.
Lucky, I suppose you could call it, the young drunk was apprehended by Coatepec Policia. Most likely saving his life.
So a happy event turned dark. The community dance was cancelled and Ursulo Galvan, a community of about 2000 souls went into mourning.
A couple of years ago, just down the road from our beach casa along the street that parallels the beach, in the early evening, Anita and I were on a walk. As if out of a ‘Fast and Furious’ film a drunken man child with his truck came roaring down the roadway veering side to road side crashing into parked cars at breakneck speed. We literally dove for cover watching in shock as the fool and his truck finally met head on with a local bus. A two block run that terrified beach goers. It was surreal.
Even as the reckless truck forged forward side swiping vehicles, a group of men on foot were in chase. After passing us the truck collided with the front of a package store tearing off the front door and continuing on. When the truck came to rest as a hood ornament to the big city bus the angry men and even a few women pulled the borracho from the steaming vehicle and proceeded to beat him until the police interceded. Justice is often swift here in Mexico
Fortunately no one was injured that day. But there had been beach goers returning to vehicles and others walking to local restaurants, some with children that could just as easily have been seriously injured or killed.
Firewater and the natives are often a deadly mixture here in Mexico. Of course this is not limited to our Country. Nor is danger only lurking here in Mexico. During this same week in the wild west of Colorado a kid brandishing a shotgun, stormed a school looking for an irritating librarian.
It is crazy out there. We can all only hope we are never in one of those wrong places to be at the time. It is hard to say how this terrible event in our Hood might affect future Virgen Block Parties. Hug your kids, your parents and your grandparents tonight knowing they are safe from another wild week in America. Stay Tuned!