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Semana Santa, or Holy Week, is the most widely celebrated holiday in Mexico. This holiday provides a time to vacation, a sort of spring break. Mexican nationals escape their daily routine, coming to celebrate, most notably to beaches, and Sayulita was once again hopping with action during this festive time.
Roads were busy with vehicles waiting to make their entrance into Sayulita, while empty lots were used to accommodate the extra need for parking. Tents a plenty sprang up everywhere, including the beach and in yards. The beach was also covered with large umbrellas and beach chairs galore. By Thursday of last week, the party was on in Sayulita and the town was adequately prepared with extra police and emergency personnel. Portable bathrooms, serviced daily, were provided by Pro Sayulita.
Carnival rides were set up by the entrance to town, and street vendors lined portions of the baseball field, while the church bells were more active than usual in celebration of this religious inspired holiday. Jugglers, neon lights, and an array of rock, traditional Mexican, and other bands, took turns entertaining crowds in the plaza and elsewhere.
Anna, a recent transplant to Sayulita, shared her view on the festivities, “I sat at the far end of the beach, and all I saw was umbrellas. Sayulita was visibly bursting at its’ seams.” A tourist from Guadalajara, Alfonso, was having a great time, commenting that, “the people here are really friendly,” and Fatima, from Toronto, explained that her favorite part was the additional food and merchandise street vendors, offering more selection than on her prior visits to Sayulita.
In years past, trash from all the revelers, has been an issue. This year, Pro Sayulita in addition to many local businesses, proactively provided free bags in an attempt to manage the extra garbage on a daily basis. In an encouraging change for the better, locals witnessed many tourists filling the bags and taking their garbage with them, to be deposited in designated areas. (Pro Sayulita also provided garbage bins.) Local resident and community organizer, Tracie Willis, owner of ChocoBanana, was pleasantly surprised when she and some other volunteers went to Playa Malpaso, the site of a three day rave, which drew thousands, to start to clean up, and there were “still about 5 guys (from the event organizer) there cleaning up, and there were as least 100 bags full of garbage that they’d already bagged up.” She was told the garbage was going to be taken to Guadalajara. A local cleanup effort Tuesday morning removed additional garbage on the roads leading into the site. Many Sayulita locals have said that this was the cleanest Semana Santa they have seen. An additional cleanup is being organized for Saturday, April 18th.