Anatomy Of A Fiesta

If it seems that there is always some kind of Fiesta going on in Puerto Escondido, you’re probably right. The people of the coastal region of Oaxaca are passionate in their embrace of their cultural traditions. The Fiesta is also an essential part of the rhythm of life.

And it wouldn’t be a fiesta without some basic ingredients: Fireworks, calenda, dances, jaripeos, brass bands, and sometimes even cock fights!

Fireworks, make the Castillo an event to remember:

You can always buy these at the market and the larger tiendas, because any celebration warrants an explosion! But for a real Fiesta its necessary to hire the services of a pirotecnico, a master of the ancient art of fireworks.


This is the lively parade that announces the beginning of the festivities. It is typically led by a brass band and huge papier-mache puppets. Many of the participants carry candles glowing inside paper. The parade winds its way through town stopping frequently for drinking and dancing.


A Mexican style rodeo and immensely popular on the coast! A jaripeo consists of a bull-riding contest with a live band and often spontaneous dancing.


The cock pit is very much a male preserve. A great deal of money changes hands on the fights, which last until one of the cocks is unable to continue. Not for the squeamish, but is an interesting cultural experience.