What do you want to wish for in the New Year? asks my friend Eric. It’s January in Teotitlan and the tradition is to go to the caves high up on a mountain top just outside the pueblo. Everyone goes — madres y padres, abuelos y abuelas, primos, hermanos, los ninos — by foot, in the back of pick-up trucks, or jammed into cars. A few go by 3-wheel taxi’s that I call “tuk tuk’s.” Some even ride horses. It is a parade going one-way up the narrow, cobbled, becoming earth-packed, path. We bring a picnic and find a spot we can call our own and begin to gather stones and small rocks to build our dreams. Most everyone wishes for a new house and builds miniature versions, multi-storied with a grand central garden, walkways, a roof of twigs. We make an offering of a few pesos at the altars at the foot of the caves. It feels as if people have been doing this for generations. Sunset comes. It is chilly, glorious, a celebration of dreams. The photo you see is “Sunset at Las Cuevitas” that I shot in 2006.
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- Norma Schafer and Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC has offered programs in Mexico since 2006. We have over 30 years of experience developing and delivering award-winning programs for Indiana University, University of Virginia, George Washington University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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