We made our way from Granada to Jinotepe early on Saturday the 19th, checked into our hotel, and headed for the church and the park. Around 8:50 or so, Lois suggested that we check out the church. People were standing around the statue of Santiago, the patron saint. Almost immediately, a flag waver began to wave a large flag furiously in front of the statue, two drummers set up a stirring roll, and the statue was picked up by bearers and carried down the aisle to the front of the church. Smoke bombs were also going off. It was really quite thrilling.

After the mass, the image of Santiago was carried out the front door, led by costumed dancers who were portraying Spanish aristocrats. We followed the procession to the first “tope”, a mile out the road from Jinotepe toward San Marcos.