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I Got Drunk and Joined Guatemala’s Wasted Horse Race

​​Every year, the Mayan villagers in Todos Santos throw a wild, week-long rager ending in a drunken—sometimes deadly—horse race.
Guatemalan drunken horse race

Every year at the end of October, the Mayan villagers in Todos Santos, Guatemala, throw a week-long rager to celebrate their independence from Spain. After days of drinking and dancing and barely sleeping, the bravest men in town face off against one another in a wild, wasted horse race.

It's not uncommon to see a drunk rider fly off his saddle and land on his neck, or to watch someone get trampled by another racer's horse. Most years at least one rider dies in the race. But if you've suffered through centuries of genocide by the Spanish and your own government, dying drunk and free on the back of a horse isn't the worst way to go. At least it's on their terms.

Read more about the Guatemalan festival in the March 2016 issue of VICE Magazine.