5 Dias con Nuestra Tierra is a fair/event that happens once a year on my campus. The Agricultural Science Faculty get together and set up all sorts of tents. One string of tents is dedicated to local horticulture and is usually lined up with loads of beautiful plants for sale as well as exhibits on landscaping and hydroponic farming. That one swings over and turns into a livestock tent where all sorts of cows, horses, donkeys and even pigs are set in pens. Some are for sale, others are just there for show. They have a cow pen where they give demonstrations on how they milk cows. Completing a large U form is the line of tents that is 1/3 local produce and the rest dedicated to local artists and artisans. They have rows and rows of tables set out with all sorts of soaps, candles, glassware, jewelry, clothing, music, etc. Further up and capping it into an almost rectangle are the row of food stands and all the non-handmade things… which is usually more cheap jewelry and bags.
A literal translation of the name comes to 5 days with our Land, but most often we translate it far more literally and say it is days spent with our dirt.. or mud, if it’s been raining.. or dust because it’s kind of close to drought season. In the end, I’ve titled the fair 5 days combating the elements because every year something happens where it’s an unholy mess to trek through ESPECIALLY if it’s been raining. Sloshing through mud is never fun. But this year the weather held beautifully and I was able to enjoy the fair over and over again.
No, seriously… I went to this thing at least as many days as it’s been open. It opened on Tuesday and will be open until Saturday. The five days usually happen on my birthday but because this year my birthday is Holy Tuesday, and our Spring Break always coincides with Holy Week, the fair had to be pushed forward. This year was a wonderful showing. I think it was the fullest I’ve ever seen it and there was so much to see. I was looking forward to it because I’d been wishing to get the treats I’d promised the ladies who won the bunny naming contest straight from the hands of the people who make them. I mean, sure, I could have bought versions of them from my local supermarket, but it wouldn’t have been the same.
I fully believe in helping stimulate the local economy and I rightly like to give my patronage to the local artisans. They travel around the island to all sorts of fairs and events. I think that every week and weekend they are somewhere new. The island has many of these activities to stimulate the local culture. There are the “fiestas patronales” which are the parties each town has to honor their patron saint. Puerto Rico was founded by Spanish settlers and Catholicism is the main religion, so this is rather big. Each town is also known for a certain product. My hometown of Yauco is known for coffee and in fact, the coffee festival was the weekend before last. I’d been unable to attend because I had company over, as you will remember. My campus town, Mayaguez, is known for it’s mangoes. So, for a weekend, each town (there are 78 total in PR) highlights their whatever at the peak of the season. As each thing happens at different times, there is something every weekend.
I like 5 dias because it’s organized primarily by students. They work hard and since I’ve been on Student Council, I’ve met many more of the students from agricultural science. I didn’t buy much for myself aside from some black heart earrings and a lovely silver pendant. My friend, Grace, bought me a pretty clearish stone heart and got one for herself that matched and Carlitos got me a pretty pink leather bracelet.
And one of the real reasons I hit up 5 dias:
I get to see bunnies!!