#QuidateEnCasa: In Oaxaca, Stay Home Order Cancels Good Friday

Stay Safe at Home. Today, on Good Friday, I immediately think of the 1964 Simon & Garfunkel song, The Sounds of Silence, knowing that the traditional Semana Santa celebrations in Oaxaca and my town, Teotitlan del Valle, have been cancelled. For religion to be cancelled in Mexico, this is a very serious time!

On April 8, the Oaxaca Public Health Service (on Twitter: @SSO_GobOax) reported 37 positive cases of COVID-19, one death, and that 17 people who were diagnosed recuperated. These numbers are probably misleading since testing is not in place, just as the numbers are inaccurate in the USA, too. Reporting from remote villages is spotty at best. Comments on the Twitter feed note that numbers do not specify particular Oaxaca regions, like the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, for example. People are questioning.

The over-arching message is #STAYHOME.

Altar to spring greens and new life, Semana Santa — Easter

Oaxaca celebrates Good Friday in silence. This is usually a big day, one of the biggest on the annual religious festival calendar. A traditional day of processing through the streets to re-enactment the Stations of the Cross journey of Jesus to Mount Calvary along the Via Dolorosa — the Way of Pain.

A European-style procession brought by the Conquistadores

In Teotitlan del Valle, the community radio station broadcasts in both Spanish and Zapotec, the indigenous language of the village. It is the first language for most. Everyone is urged to stay home. All public celebrations related to Easter here have been canceled, starting with Lunes Santo (Holy Monday) and the church is closed. I replied to @TeotitlanDValle on Twitter that this was very good news, indeed.

We never heard of Social Distancing — Sana Distancia — when I took these photos

I have family and dear friends here. I want them to be safe.

Today, the church in Barrio Jalatlaco, from Winn Kalmon

My friend Shannon published a post today, Silent Good Friday, with her collection of past photos of the celebration in the city. You might enjoy seeing these.

There will be no onlookers in 2020 — the Age of COVID-19

In these days, silence is a good thing.

Stay healthy, everyone.

Watching the procession

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