Every year during the third week of November, Altagracia celebrates the week-long fiesta of San Diego de Alcalá, in honour of the village’s patron saint. If you’re passing through on November 17 you may be lucky enough to see one of the highlights of the festival, the Baile del Zompopo (“dance of the leaf-cutter ant”). The locals set out from the church in a traditional procession through the streets, parading aloft an image of San Diego. Participants act out the distinctive dance with tree branches held aloft – representing the indigenous leaf-cutter ant – while moving to traditional drum rhythms.

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