Tuesday,26 Feb 2013


Justin Henderson is responsible for most of the the text on this site. Justin is an established writer, having published six novels as well as many non-fictions and travel guides. When he’s not writing, he’s usually riding waves on a surfboard or a paddleboard in Sayulita or Punta de Mita.


Sayulita’s annual celebration of itself and its own history, Sayulita Days, has just come to an end. Originally known as the Feast of the Ejido, the weeklong bash was started over 50 years ago by the leaders of the village to honor the town’s birth. These days, the party includes a visit from a traveling carnival, rodeos, equestrian performances, concerts in the rodeo arena, and the Sunday morning parade, for many the highlight of the week.

The rodeo riders are called Charros; the women, like this one, are Charras
Kids on parade, in full dress uniforms
Schoolkids performing in the parade

The carnival is a real throwback, a funky, small time, small town traveling show with marginally functional old school rides, a couple of electronically-operated bucking broncos or bulls, plentiful food booths, colorful junk for sale, open bars selling every form of alcohol under the sun, and assorted tests of skill, including the Quebraderos, which I don’t believe you’ll find anywhere up in the states. There are about eight of these set-ups in a row on one side of the carnival. They all offer the same thing. Piles of rocks. Some upside-down beer bottles on sticks several yards away. For a few pesos, you buy a pile of rocks to throw at the beer bottles. You break one, you win…Beer!

Perehaps only in Mexico will you find Quebraderos, rock-throwing, bottle-breaking contests
Piles of rocks, cases of beer. Throw a rock, break a bottle, win beer
Kids on the march, spectators watching from the plaza

The parade includes kids from all the schools in the area, men and women on horseback, sports teams, and Sayulita’s princesses and queen. For visitors, the hundreds of school children, dressed in their school uniforms or costumed as cowboys, soldiers, Zapata, Villa or other Mexican heroes, add up to an irresistible photo op. Everybody in town lines up to watch, participate, or take pictures. When the parade ends on the baseball field, the banda strikes up, the dancing horses dance, and a grand time is had by all.

Little soldiers get tired standing and marching in the hot sun
A princess of Sayulita, enjoying the parade
This year's Queen of Sayulita on her throne