Entertainment and Events
Thanks to its four churches, Gracias celebrates four ferias patronales a year: January 20 (San Sebastián), April 25 (San Marcos), September 28 (La Merced), and December 13 (Santa Lucía). Of special note are the unique guancascos that take place during the January and December festivities. A guancasco is a traditional masked dance representing peace and communication between two communities. In Gracias, the neighborhoods of San Sebastián and Mexicapa (by the church of Santa Lucía) reenact this encounter.
On July 20 the town commemorates the death of the Lencan hero Lempira, with hundreds of schoolchildren parading in Indian-style costumes and a reenactment of Lenca’s betrayal and death.
If you happen to be in town close to Christmas, be on the lookout for the posadas, where children carol around the town (December 16–24, 6–7:15 p.m.). Head to the restaurant Rinconcito Graciano at 5:30 p.m. and talk to the owner, Lizeth Perdomo, if you are interested in either participating or watching.
According to Lizeth, at Christmastime families also set up crèches, or nativity scenes, in their living rooms, and in the afternoons leave their doors open, welcoming passersby to peek in and admire the crèche.
It bears noting that Gracias has virtually no nightlife and is proud of its quiet, small-town nature. Your best bet after dinner is a beer at the terrace of Hotel Guancascos for some conversation and a view, or a drink at Candil, half a block east from Guancascos.
© Chris Humphrey and Amy E. Robertson from Moon Honduras, 5th Edition