San Pedro Huamelula
If you missed Astata’s Saturday market, you can get in on Huamelula’s market on Thursday by following the signed inland side road from Highway 200, just a fraction of a mile east of Astata. After about three miles (five km), as you enter Huamelula town, you pass a number of schools, including Alma Chontal (Chontal Soul) primary school, a secondary school, and Colegio de Bachilleres del Estado de Oaxaca (Oaxaca State College).
Go through town (stores, a few comedores, pharmacy, doctor) to the old but restored bright birthday-cake yellow-and-blue church, Templo de San Pedro. Inside, the same bright yellow and blue continues, right up to the altar, presided over by a very antique Saint Peter. In the right transept chapel, pay your respects to an even older Santa Lucia in the glass case.
Here, the usually serene atmosphere shifts to raucous and jubilant during the June 25–26 Fiesta de San Pedro. Processions, fireworks, food, carnival rides, and games climax in traditional dances, including the popular Danza de los Los Turcos (Dance of the Turks).
© Bruce Whipperman from Moon Oaxaca, 5th edition