I know there are quite a few photos here, but it was all so beautiful I felt like I was walking through a travel brochure.
The women are wearing the traditional Mayan garment called huipil.
The huipil is a garment worn as a blouse by Mayan women since ancient times. It is a square or rectangular piece of cloth with a hole in the center. It is generally embroidered around the neck, in the shape of a cross. The garment is then folded in half and the sides stitched up. The stitching stops on the sides to allow for armholes. The huipil is worn over a skirt which is tied with a woven belt.
The neck is elaborately embroidered with designs representing the cosmos, the gods and their helpers. When a Mayan woman puts on her huipil, she becomes the axis of this symbolically represented universe.
As the dancers finished, the chairs and bleachers that had been focused on them to one side of the street, began to move to face the end of that street. And when we returned after dinner, there was a dance contest being held! First the over 60 crowd, then came the 18-30 group. A whole stage and disco lighting schematic were thrown up in a matter of hours and would just as quickly disappear.
I said it felt like gay pride in West Hollywood:
Somehow we'd found the corner of the main square where all the gay guys of Merida hung out -✓.
I'd been standing in the street all day - ✓.
I was slightly sun burnt - ✓.
We'd eaten food from street vendors - ✓.
There had been a disco stage show - ✓.
I was with Ricky & Brad - ✓.
We'd somehow wound up at the Latin music tent - ✓.
So we made fun of the 19th century "courting chairs" (made so one seat faces each way and there is a rail in between each person. Nothing inappropriate could possibly happen...) and called it a night.