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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Jats 'a Ja Festival in Mahahual

With monitoring well underway and base life being busy as ever, all volunteers were happy to welcome the Jats ‘a Ja festival to Mahahual town. The festival is a local celebration to deter hurricanes from striking the region. Features of the weekend include a fireworks display, a boat parade and a traditional Mayan ceremony.

A lionfish hunt was also held to try and raise awareness and cull numbers of this invasive species in the waters around the Yucatan. GVI staff members Tristan Brown and Dave Blundell joined forces with a local dive company and entered the hunt. The boys did an excellent job and hauled 32 lionfish to sit atop the leaderboard at the end of the day. Unfortunately the day was not without controversy; in dubious circumstances the boys had 3 fish removed from their tally and were relegated to second on the podium.

The volunteers enjoyed a weekend of frivolity but also participated in a recycled goods stall. Volunteers crafted wind chimes, bracelets and greeting cards from recyclable goods from on base. A face painting stall also proved extremely popular with all of the local children from Mahahual. It really was a great weekend that saw Mahahual come alive. With a little counseling I think even Dave and Tristan will be able to move on and look forward to next year’s festival.