It is Patronales season in Villa Fundacion, and the town is alive with nightly live music, DJs, dancing, and fritura (fried foods) on the central plaza. Patronales is an annual 10-day celebration honoring the town’s patron saint, San Juan Bautista. Every town has one that all fall on different weeks of the year. There are nine days of prayer or novena, starting two days before Patronales begins. So far we’ve had an array of musical guests, including Dominican singer Juliana, los Pepes, infamous for their hit single repeating Pepe over and over again with illicit undertones and double entendres. Still to come is Alex Bueno, who sings bachata, salsa, merengue and more, Los Años Dorados, Los Hermanos Rosario (merengue) and and bachatero El Chaval. Relatives living afuera (outside) in the US in NY, Boston, Florida and elsewhere sign into live video chats and feeds of the party, with a camera scanning the crowd and relatives greeting each other via live feed. All is featured on a large screen in the park.
Photos: On way to snorkeling spot Derrumbao walking past salt pools in Salinas, sand dunes of Bani in background in middle photo, man working in salt pools: