Coffee, Chocolate and Wine Festival lax with COVID-19 protection measures
The festival, held January 8 and 9 on the Ajijic boardwalk, was well attended and at times saw hundreds of people crowded together inside the tent
During the day there was a large flow of attendees. Due to the constant offering of tests, not everyone wore a mask during their stay at the festival.
Sofía Medeles (Ajijic, Jal.)– In spite of assurances to the press prior to its opening, the Coffee, Chocolate and Wine Festival organizers failed to implement COVID-19 prevention protocols as they had planned.
At the pre-event press conference, event organizer Raúl Ceniceros proposed that event staff would limit and control the capacity of the crowd inside the tent by having only one entrance and one exit, and that they would take temperature checks and enforce the use of face masks for both attendees and exhibitors. However, none of these measures were fully instituted.
The inauguration of the festival was presided over by the mayor of Chapala, Alejandro Aguirre Curiel; the director of tourism, Paola de Watterlot; the head of the Ajijic delegation, Maximiliano Macías Arceo; the municipal trustee Gamaliel Soto Pérez; and the event organizer, Raúl Ceniceros.
The festival, held over two days (January 8 and 9) on the Ajijic boardwalk, was well attended and at times saw hundreds of people crowded together inside the tent. Neither exhibitors nor visitors were required to wear masks, and the public could enter at different points without using antibacterial gel or getting temperature checks. Furthermore, the constant sampling of products on offer at the event was a pretext for many not to use masks.
Event staff stationed at the designated «entrance» to the festival tent, shared that the only instructions they had been given were to ask people entering to wear their masks; to hand out sanitizing spray, and to take peoples’ temperature. They said that overall they had no major problems carrying out the safety measures, except with a few attendees who refused to comply.
From the perspective of exhibitors, however, the festival was a success. Several exhibitors interviewed stated that they are very grateful for events like these, as they provide increased exposure for their products and opportunities for sales at a time when such opportunities are scarce due to the pandemic.
The festival, held over two days (January 8 and 9) on the Ajijic boardwalk, was well attended and at times saw hundreds of people crowded together inside the tent.
«It went very well, we are delighted with the event, the first of this year,” commented an exhibitor from Do Perniler, marketers of Serrano and Iberian hams from Tequisquiapan, Querétaro. “People kept stopping by, everything was very pleasant, and everyone was open to trying our products. It went very well, and Ajijic is a wonderful place; we left very much in love.»
The event, in addition to having samples of food products and wines, also had art and handicrafts for sale. The sixty-six exhibitors included a number of local artisans, such as Luna Cacau.
The head of the Ajijic delegation, Maximiliano «Max» Macias Arceo, assured that while some might look unfavorably on the event due to the circumstances of the pandemic, there were no serious mishaps. He also commented that he viewed the event as positive, in keeping with the promoted theme and of good quality.
Translated by Rebecca Zittle
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