Today`s Victoria de Durango reported 240,00 Duranguenses and three gringos went to the Panteón Oriente (the cementary on our side of town) between Monday and Wednesday of this week. 160,000 attended during yesterday´s festivities alone; about 70 people entering the cementary per minute.
500 youths were on hand to hire themselves out to clean and groom grave sites. We saw many of these young folks bearing shovels and hoes as they wandered the boneyard looking for work. The newspaper estimated that the crowds left behind 35 tons of trash.
We found the event to be a controlled chaos. How many peanut vendors does the consumer really need within one city block? Is the corn cob roaster really concerned with public safety by leaving red hot coals on the sidewalk? The machete-wielding sugar cane vendors were chopping their product awful close to pedestrian heads, arms, and legs. Still, for the size of the crowd, the atmosphere was calm, and there appeared to be a hint of organization. We enjoyed ourselves.
The best sight was watching a family dinning atop a tomb while mariachis surrounded them in a seranade.