In Todos Santos Cuchumatán, a small town in the Guatemalan highlands, they have an insane tradition called the Skach Koyl Horse Race every All Saints Day.

With all the dead ancestors back to visit from the beyond, the entire town gathers on a road on the edge of town. Villagers get dressed up, drink it up, and hop onto horses and race back and forth all day in sprints as a huge, similarly imbibed crowd watches and celebrates. (Is “imbibed” a word?. . .)

It is wild and dangerous, and not at all uncommon for riders to get thrown at high speed, causing broken bones or an early, irrevocable reunion with their ancestors, who are presumably watching nearby.

I took this shot with a 16mm lens as two riders sprinted by.  I think the lens is about two feet away from them.  Apparently they don’t have accident lawsuits in Guatemala as no one chased me away.

Skach Koyl Horse Race