As part of the festivities for el Día de San Pedro, there was a “Gran Jaripeo” scheduled for each of the two days leading up to el Día. Based on some combination of my poor Spanish comprehension and my teacher’s messing with me, I was under the impression that a jaripeo was a bullfight.
It turns out a jaripeo is actually a rodeo. Here’s what happened:
I went with my friend Emily and my teacher, Chino. We were join by a group of four kids. (Fun fact: Manuel, in the white shirt, is now one of my students, and occasionally skypes with my mom. Hit him up on Twitter!)
The jaripeo was scheduled to start at 1pm, so we showed up just before 2pm. Sometime after 3pm, the vaqueros came out and the rodeo started.
There were about 15 vaqueros who would montar un toro, as well as several musical interludes. Somewhere around the midway point, the MC, Macarena, asked for volunteers for a dance-off. Manuel started jumping up and down and waving, but he was ineligible, since he was not at least 18 years old. Upon hearing this, all six of my companions began yelling and pointing at me. I put down my camera and made my way down.
I’d like to note that this video picks up about 5 minutes in, and I had definitely run out of steam:
I’d like to think I won.
The next day, I went back after the jaripeo had finished to show my photos and videos to the vaqueros. We hung out for a couple hours, then I went to find some food with a few vaqueros. As we were leaving, I asked Gama why he had put on a baseball cap. He offered to let me borrow his sombrero, so I had a sombrero for the rest of the evening.
As part of of the festivities, there was a live band playing in the town center that evening. After dinner, I told the vaqueros I would meet up with them later, and went home to drop off my camera.
A short time later, my new sombrero and I made our way to the center, where we met up with the vaqueros, as well as my friends Maggie and Thanh, who were also studying at Cooperativa. For some reason, Maggie and Thanh weren’t interested in dancing with any of the vaqueros, but they did each dance with me and my sombrero. Nevertheless, the vaqueros managed to have a great time. As Anthony put it:
GRACIAS ADAM LERMAN POR ESE GRAN APRECIO FUE UNA GRAN NOCHE CON TUS AMIGAS AMERICANAS GRANDES RECUERDOS DE SAN PEDRE LA LAGUNA
A few days later, I had the following conversation with Thanh (who had been volunteering in a local school):
Thanh: Hey, do you have a dictionary? My students kept saying this word, and I don’t know what it means.
Me: Sure, what’s the word?
Me: Vaquero means cowboy. What were they saying?
Thanh: My students kept saying, “Te gustan vaqueros!” This is all your fault!
Me: That’s hilarious.
Thanh: You’ve ruined my life.
My photos are here.