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The Drunken Horse Race


Alberto Mendoza drinks beer together with the other riders in his home in Todos Santos Cuchumatán. Photo: Santiago Billy/Comvite
Alberto Mendoza drinks beer together with the other riders in his home in Todos Santos Cuchumatán. Photo: Santiago Billy/Comvite

The sun sets after a misty afternoon in Todos Santos Cuchumatán, Huehuetenango. A marimba plays through the cornfields by the edge of the town, mixed with inaudible chatter and laughter. The riders of Squech Koya, The Rooster Games, are present at the party, drinking plenty of beer and strong liquor. In a house in a nearby hilltop, Alberto Mendoza, the main captain of the race, entertains his guests. He has just returned from the United States, and is paying for the entire party before leading his team of riders through the slopes of the prosperous town the following day.

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