Who will be the queen of this year’s Toro Guapo Festival?
photos and note by Eric Jackson
Anton is a huge, sprawling municipal district in Cocle province. It has a Millionaires’ Row in El Valle and pockets of desperately poor former fishing villagers who have been pushed off of the beaches, out of that living and north of the highway. It has beach resorts old and new with a little airport that has US military roots. These days some government wag wishfully dubbed a “riviera.” Part of it, the town of Rio Hato, was founded by freed slaves. There are still a lot of farms and ranches there, making a go of it in uncertain times. The race for queen of the Toro Guapo Festival — where the parades include these stylized handsome bulls, the popular culture plays out on a stage in front of City Hall, facing the main plaza and the Catholic Church and the revelry is both raucous and relatively tame — is a big deal.
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