Grand Carnaval De La Ceiba 2015

carnavalitoEvery May our little town of La Ceiba, Honduras hosts Gran Carnaval Internacional de La Ceiba, or Carnaval for short. For two weeks the population swells from 300,000 people to over 500,000 people. The festival, which honors Saint Isidore the Laborer, the patron saint of La Ceiba, is the second biggest carnival in the world. This year Carnival took place from May 11-23. Carnival concluded this past Saturday with a party that covered 20 blocks.

Here is a short video we shot of Carnival a few years ago.

carnavalThe city hosts parades, pageants, soccer tournaments and special events every day. The big draw is the neighborhood carnivalitos (little carnivals). Each night a different residential neighborhood hosts a carnivalito. These carnivalitos get started around 9:00pm and go until early the next morning. They have stages, bands, dancing, beer, food and games. They are large raucous parties and attract hundreds of thousands of people each night. Envision your suburban neighborhood with three concert style stages playing live dance music for 1/4 million drunken partiers…welcome to carnvivalito.

Street vendors and beer tents make money hand over fist. But, schools, businesses and everyday life all but shuts down. Merchants enjoy the boost to the local economy, but many La Ceiba residents escape the city for a few days. Our ministry slows way down and some churches have even been known to cancel services. Public drunkenness, murders and rapes increase during Carnival.