Carnaval in San Pedro: Dancing and Lots & Lots of Paint

Why let New Orleans and Rio De Janeiro have all the fun?  San Pedro, Belize has been celebrating Mardi Gras or Carnival for as long as anyone can remember.  It is three days of dancing, partying and lots and lots of paint.

Yesterday, Sunday, was day one.  And we saw the first comparsas…I think a uniquely San Pedro event.  From what I can tell “comparsa” is a word used to describe a Latin American carnival-like parade of dancing and costumes.  Our twist?  Men dress like women and women like men.  Why?  Who knows?…it’s just fun.

I ran into the first group on Front Street yesterday.

Sponsored by the San Pedro AIDs Commission.

There was a theme.  There were Nina Frescas or Strawberry Girls.  Dressed extremely well and very matchy matchy.
And nacos (I think that is how it’s spelled”) – loosely translated:  hot messes.

Oooh la la!

Day One also means lots of kids out with a mix of paint and water.   Day Three brings out the older kids and adults with the paints.  The clock tower was covered in huge tarp, smartly.  There is no doubt that it would have been covered in multi-colored hand prints.

The tarp was already collecting quite a bit of paint.

The mayoral tombstones were covered as well.  Also smart.

Many call this event “a license to vandalize” but the kids that I saw were just having fun.  So much fun.  I’m a big fan of Carnival in San Pedro.  It’s just another unique holiday on this island that makes living here kinda cool.

And just some little boys chewing on chicken bones drying off after a swim in the ocean.

But it’s all fun and games ’til this happens.

If you are here on the island, get out there over the next two days.  No one will paint you if you don’t want to get painted.  The comparsas performs at about 4pm each afternoon and on Tuesday, it will be a bigger parade.  GO SAN PEDRO!




Be the first to get the Scoop AND receive my weekly newsletter...

  • What time is the parade and what is the route?

  • Me

    I am not 100% sure there is a parade at all! But the comparsas has been going out at about 4pm each day…so there will definitely be that. They have been going all the way up front, down middle and up back. None of this stuff, though, was officially announced.