The entire town of Aucayacu is bustling during the week of San Juan. There are festivals, parades, car races, soccer games, pageants and contests. But the culmination of the events come on the day of San Juan, June 24th. Early in the morning, around 4am, there is a group of people who runs down to the river to jump in. They believe that the early morning swim will prevent gray hair. You cannot sleep through it since the group parades the streets beforehand beating a drum and calling out to all the neighbors to join them.
Once everyone is truly awake just a few hours later, the entire town of Aucayacu and all the visitors make their way down to the river early to choose their spot. Branches are brought in so that each family can construct a canopy for shade. It becomes truly an all day affair.
As lunchtime arrives, people begin to unwrap their juanes that took all day the day before to make. Most don’t bring plates since the leaves themselves can be used like plates, but everyone has a container of delicious aji! What is even more delicious are the boiled plantains to go along with all the food. It is an unforgettable meal with friends, community and a day to truly enjoy.