Thousands of people converge on the streets of Oaxaca for Guelaguetza. Only 11,000 were in the Guelaguetza auditorium to hear Lila Downs last night.
The rest were visitors strolling Macedonio Alcala, the walking avenue between the Zocalo and Santo Domingo Church, and roaming vendors selling everything from fragrant azucenas that only bloom at night to ice cream and hair decor.
Carnival rides bring smiles to children and parents.
The perpendicular and parallel side streets are filled with pop-up outdoor food stands where you can get tortillas cooked on a comal any way you like them.
A must-see art exhibit at Instituto de Artes Graficas de Oaxaca across from Santo Domingo Church opened last night. A crowd of visitors and locals packed the galleries to see some stunning lithography and the beer flowed.
Mexico’s art is usually wrapped in social and political commentary and this exhibition is no exception. Here artist-illustrator Artemio Rodriguez paints the Virgin of Guadalupe on a shovel and the eagle on a cactus with a snake in its mouth, symbol of nationhood, on a wheelbarrow. Is this irreverent?
Images of farm workers and the iconic Porfirio Diaz, president/dictator, offer us visual contrast between poverty and poverty, honor and corruption. Art here is something to chew on, not for matching with furniture and color palette.
Of course, shopping is King and Queen, and you can find some of the best Oaxaca artisans from many villages here in Oaxaca this time of year.
WHERE? At pop-up art and folk art Expoventa shows throughout the city:
- Las Bugambilias B&B, Calle Reforma 402, jewelry, textiles, art
- San Pablo Academic & Cultural Center, Independencia, textiles
- Macedonio Alcala near Santo Domingo Church
- Folk Art Tianguis at the Feria de Mezcal, Llano Park
- Tonight, Saturday only, at IAGO, Instituto Artes Graphicas de Oaxaca on Macedonio Alcala
Peace and Quiet in Teotitlan del Valle, Except for an Earthquake
The Guelaguetza crowds were staggering. Oaxaca city was clogged with foot and street traffic. There was excitement, band music, the sizzle of street food, parades of elegantly dress women from the villages, and more shopping overload than any accomplished shopaholic could need or want.
Day & Night Shopping: Expoventa on the Andador
With enough stimulation to last me weeks, I decided to leave the city early on Sunday and return to the casita I call home in Teotitlan del Valle. On Monday, doing laundry was my meditation.
Tamarind, Lime, Hibiscus Mezcalinis at La Olla Restaurant – Yummy
Maya celebrates her 18th birthday
Sipping Nuevo Mundo coffee from my rooftop terrace, I heard birds sing and the hammer of a carpenter building. In the distance, I saw farmers tending to their fields just as they do each day here. It is a refuge here. Some never need to go elsewhere.
Strumming on an ass jawbone, traditional music
Oaxaca is earthquake country. In the early morning hours today, when REM sleep is deep, I feel the shake and roll of my bed, and the rattle of the kitchen pans suspended from the ceiling rack. It went on for what seemed an eternity or perhaps thirty seconds. I decided not to panic, rolled over and tried to fall back asleep.
Now, it is overcast and we are waiting for rain. The farmers need the rain for their milpa — the fields planted with corn, squash and beans, local sustenance for millenia.
Thank you, Teotitlan del Valle, for sheltering me in peace, quiet and tranquility. It is enough. Even with an earthquake once in a while.
Posted in Cultural Commentary, Teotitlan del Valle
Tagged earthquakes, guelaguetza, Mexico, Oaxaca, photography, Teotitlan del Valle