San Pedro Carnival – A Pause for Reflection

by tacogirl

This year the first great Carnival event gave me something different and I can credit San Pedro House of Culture for that. The night took me back through the years not only with San Pedro Belize Carnival history. It also had me reflecting on my life in Belize and past Carnival celebrations. I thought about my photographer friend Karen Brodie too, another Canadian immigrant. I bet she never dreamed just how much she would impact history by moving here and capturing hundreds of colorful Carnival pictures. As well as other important topics such as The Golden Years Project, which was another great house of culture event.

They put on a great show this year of Carnival history and theatrics which was followed by a great photography exhibit by Karen Brodie Photography.
You can catch her show up until March 14th. She also gets a reflection credit.

 San Pedro Belize Carnival

What had me reflecting during her show? As I watched a woman flip through the thick stack of Karen’s pictures I could not help remember years past. Some I had seen in person and some were new. Of course, there were many great shots of the late well loved carnavalera Felix Ayusø. He was always radiant on camera and wearing most perfectly designed costumes. Of course, Felix had excellent seamstress Sandra Ayusø on his side.

San Pedro Carnival

Karen’s paint party pictures also brought back some great memories. I remember the time I got painted, it was 2007 and I had gone out to take a few pictures. After seeing kids in line with eggs at the grocery, my ex said he was steering clear altogether. I was doing fine for a good while then all of a sudden one polite kid came and marked my cheek. That was all I needed. I quickly ran back to our apartment in town above the old Mickey’s Restaurant and put on a t-shirt I did not mind sacrificing. It was so much fun to embrace the moment and get covered in paint. I also remember various years after that listening to newer friends excitedly recount their stories of joining the fun and first-time carnival paint parties.

San Pedro Belize Carnival

There was a good turn out for the exhibit. Mito Paz, Brenda Henkes, and crew did a fantastic job (as always) of honoring San Pedro Carnaval 2019 with the first big event followed by 4 days of fun in the town center. It was a bit hard to capture good quality pics for the outside part of the evening so I shot a short video instead. Included is a bit of the opening night comparsa dancers and main event Karen’s photography exhibit. Followed by the Saturday afternoon kids paint and foam party in Central Park.

50 Shades of Color 

As always Central Park turned into a rainbow of color as kids joyously ran around doing the annual people painting. Of course, I had to get a shot of Karen in action, I also got permission to raid Karen Brodie Photography for a picture or two. Her Carnival 2019 – kids album is worth looking at, don’t forget to like her page while you are there. She is always putting up fabulous Belize photographs and sometimes other cool places.

San Pedro Belize Carnival

For the painting part, generally, kids will leave you alone if you say so. There is always the exception to the rule so make sure you are wearing things you do not mind splatters on. My exception to this time was that a young stealth ninja swooped in with some olive green paint and got a good swipe down my printed shirt. It happened while I was snapping pics and dodging painters, who were running around soaking each. Thankfully none of the others noticed and I got off light.

Of course, I had way too many pictures to choose from, I narrowed it down to 29 and then further still. Here are my favorite few paint party shots. Of course, Karen Brodie in action comes first, as for me this year was largely about her fabulous work. I have seen her in action many times. You can’t tell but in the end, the kids closest to her were ading a bit more pain to her.

San Pedro Belize Carnival
 San Pedro Belize Carnival
 San Pedro Belize Carnival
San Pedro Belize Carnival

Foam Fun Never Gets Old

I am a total bubble bath girl, so I enjoy watching a good foam party. Many of these kids have never seen a bathtub, I enjoyed the feeling of excitement as they played foam. all the while DJ Debbie was spinning great trax. She also did a short $50 best dance moves contest before the foam hit.

San Pedro Belize Carnival

Following kids fun, came a parade and comparsas (street dancers.) Due to timing, well really things being a bit on Belize time, I missed the parade. Eileen at DaandE’s called it right and sure enough, the 5 pm start rolled by their frozen custard shop at 7:00 pm 😀 I missed the dancers too as I was busy at the time they happened. I did score a pic Hot of the presses from Karen to share with you, not even the facebook world has seen it yet 😀 Every year a group of men dress up as women and dance through the streets of San Pedro town, Below are two of them.

San Pedro Belize Carnival

Sadly I read on Ambergris Today the comparsas were low this year, a sign that means tradition could be dwindling. I was also sad to see (as always) there was no public mention for the painters to steer clear of the water. Many were washing off their latex paint in the sea and I cannot believe that is a good thing for marine life.

If you want to see more colorful San Pedro Belize Carnival fun, visit Ambergris Today, San Pedro Sun, San Pedro ScoopCarnival De San Pedro facebook page, and Tropic Air.

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