Read in: French
That day, with some of my colleagues, we had heard of a huge event in Xela : the coronation of the “indigenous” queen. In Guatemala, there are a lot of beauty contests, but they are mainly divided into two categories : the Indigenous Misses, who wear traditional costumes of their cities and the Modern Misses, in their meringue dresses and glittering crowns. That day, at the municipal city theatre, it was a young local girl from Xela who was going to be crowned. Her election had taken place a few days before and that night was the official coronation.
Half of Xela was already waiting outside. People were all dressed up as if for a traditional ceremony, in their best costumes, and the women were wearing high heels. It was the first time I saw women on heels in Xela, hovering 10cm above the ground. They mostly wear flat shoes or mocassins in everyday life. After having had a few words with the people waiting in line, we managed to buy tickets to go inside. It was rather easy, the organizers of the event being flattered that foreigners took interest in this kind of event where the public was composed almost entirely of indigenous people.
Once we were inside, we found the Misses inside, each of them dressed up in sumptuous traditional costumes. It really felt as if we had entered a princess story and it only took a few seconds before my inner child took over. There was even the very first Miss Indigenous of Xela, today an aged lady with a powerful charisma.
Then the ceremony began. There were 3 hours of speech, dance and singing… The queen was offered the young queen’s costume in an eulogistic manner, before she was dressed up on the stage. This was the most beautiful moment of the whole ceremony.