Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘children’

I had put off making the trek down to Soriana long enough.  Supermarkets, even in Mexico, are not one of my favorite destinations and this is one of the smaller and less pleasing stores in the chain.  However, I do enjoy the quiet of the streets on Sunday mornings and besides, I was curious about the drum and bugle corps I could hear practicing.

Stop number 1:  Watching a little drummer girl and boy in the Plaza de la Danza.P1250293

Stop number 2:  Noticing a newly installed cross in the atrium of the Basílica de la Soledad.P1250298

Stop number 3:  Feeling like a queen strolling under a canopy of Royal Poinciana trees (Arbol de flamboyán) on calle Independencia.P1250311_port

A seven minute walk that took twenty seven — that’s how it is in Oaxaca.

 

Read Full Post »

Before the rains came to put a damper on Saturday’s Guelaguetza pre-parade photo-ops, there were these moments with with moms and dads readying their impossibly cute kids for the desfile.

This last was my favorite moment.  I think dad was hoping for a lovely portrait of his beautiful daughter in all her finery, but as he began to take her digital device away, she gave him a look that said, “If you think your going to get a smile out of me, you’ve got another think coming.”  So, I said, let her keep it — still no smile, but there was another hour before the scheduled start time and parental experience told me, better to keep her occupied!

Read Full Post »

Feliz Día del Niño (Day of the Child) to children everywhere!

Forever Young
by Bob Dylan

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

Read Full Post »

“What do you do all day?”  It’s a question I’ve been asked countless times since I began my retired life down Oaxaca way and I’m not alone.  Most expats here have heard those words — a query that hints at the notion that there couldn’t possibly enough to fill the day in a place where one isn’t fluent in the language, isn’t surrounded by family and old friends, and doesn’t have a job.  A large part of the answer is, doing most everything takes longer.  And that is not a bad thing!  Perhaps, a photo diary of this morning’s grocery shopping excursion might provide an illustration.

After morning coffee and breakfast, catching up on email and the news, washing dishes, showering and dressing, I grabbed a couple of shopping bags and headed out at 10 AM.  The initial plan had been to walk up to Niños Heroes (the Pan American highway) to photograph some new murals, cross the highway to the Organic Market, and then return home by way of Sánchez Pascuas mercado where I could get chicken, quesillo, and anything else that remained on my shopping list or struck my fancy.  However, for almost an hour, I’d been hearing Guelaguetza music coming from the Plaza de la Danza.  I decided a detour was in order and found kindergartners performing Oaxaca’s traditional folkloric dances, including this one  where couples take turns “dissing” each other in a rhythmic double-entendre laden dialogue.  It always gets laughs — wish I could understand the jokes!  Needless to say, I hung out watching the kids for awhile.

P1080705I finally tore myself away and resumed my original itinerary.  Some of the murals were east of the Pochimilco Organic Market so I decided to start at the end and work my way back — a route which took me up the Macedonio Alcalá where I saw a sidewalk vignette of hats and scarves lined up in front of Santo Domingo.  There was also a small marmota (cloth globe on a pole) laying on its side, so I’m guessing there was to be a calenda (parade) of some sort.

P1080715After stopping to take a few photos (how could I resist the juxtaposition with the Peña Nieto graffiti?) I found myself behind these vendors taking their merchandise up to Llano Park for its Friday market.

P1080717Deciding to speed up my slow progress on the errands I’d set forth for the morning, I passed the gals only to stop to watch Oaxaca’s version of the dog whisperer working with four Xoloitzcuintlis (Mexican Hairless Dogs).

P1080722 (1)Eventually continuing north, I arrived at Niños Heroes and the murals and street art I’d come to find and photograph.  They deserve their own blog post, so I will save those photos for another day.  However, I also ran across this wonderful wall!  P1080752Crossing the highway, I found the newly built and landscaped stairs (almost didn’t recognize them) leading up to Xochimilco and the Pochimilco Organic Market.  I wandered and lingered and tasted — including a few of these mezcals, as I’ve got a US trip coming up and a stepson who probably won’t speak to me if I don’t bring him a couple of bottles.

P1080755Popping some gum in my mouth (didn’t want my breath to smell like I’m a lush), I headed south on Tinoco y Palacios to catch a couple of new murals I’d had fleeting glimpses of when returning from last Sunday’s trip to Tlacolula.  This one had particularly caught my eye.

P1080788By the time I arrived at Sánchez Pascuas, it was after 12 noon.  I found my poultry guy, paid a visit to the cheese vendor, picked up some veggies from my favorite produce gal, and, on the way out, bought some homemade salsa verde.  Yummm…  As I descended the three stairs down to the sidewalk, I turned around to admire the beautiful color of the flamboyant and jacaranda trees and the tranquility of this setting in the middle of the state’s bustling capital city.

P1080815It was close to 1 PM when I unlocked the door to my apartment.  If I were in California, I would have jumped in the car, driven down to the local Friday organic market (with not a drop of mezcal in sight), browsed a bit, spent way too much money, climbed back in the car to finish shopping at Safeway, before returning to the house, probably by 11 AM.

Here in Oaxaca, I’d been gone almost three hours, walked close to fifty (often hilly) blocks, and seen some wonderful, creative, and life affirming sights.  And, that doesn’t even include the scattering of conversations with my neighbors and Luís and Luci, who work here.  Just another Friday.  Not a bad way to live one’s life!

Read Full Post »

It’s Carnaval time in Teotitlán del Valle.  Yes, I know, Easter was last Sunday and Lent is over.  However, like many other things (e.g., not going on Daylight Saving Time), this Zapotec village does things their own way.  Thus, instead of celebrating Carnaval the day before Lent begins, they celebrate for the five days following Easter!  As I’ve written about previously, Carnaval in Teotitlán is a major production that indeed takes a village; young and old, female and male all have parts to play in the festivities that include music, masked men, mezcal, and mouthwatering mole.

Yesterday, rather than sitting with the men and scattering of male and female extranjeros, gal pal J and I hung out with the women and children in the outdoor kitchen that had been set up in the back of the large earthen courtyard.  There the women prepared enough chicken, mole amarillo, and tortillas to feed one hundred!

P1080563

P1080561 crop

P1080556

The seemingly always well-behaved kids played and took care of the babies while their mamas and abuelas worked.

P1080560

P1080566

P1080569

P1080568

Muchisimas gracias to the women and children of Teotitlán del Valle’s Segunda Sección for being so gracious and welcoming.

Read Full Post »

Unlike many places on our planet, bees were plentiful on the streets of Oaxaca this morning…

P1080073

They were a little apprehensive, but moms, dads, and teachers were there to hold their hands and dry the occasional tear.

P1080076

There were other sweet cuddly critters…

P1080075and, even princesses.

P1080074Oaxaca opens her arms and welcomes spring with a parade of children.  How could one not smile and be happy?!!

Read Full Post »

Oaxaca is one of the most child friendly places you will ever visit.  Kids are welcome most everywhere — it’s part of the culture — and there is much for them to see and do, including El Quinto Sol, an archaeological museum for children.P1020037

I’ve been meaning to write about this colorful, yet hidden, gem since a friend and I discovered it in 2008 on an early Sunday morning ramble.  It was closed for remodeling, but we managed to peek in and vowed to return.

Of course, we didn’t write down the address or name, all I remembered was that it was somewhere south of the zócalo.  It took several expeditions once I moved to Oaxaca, before I found El Quinto Sol again.

According to the museum’s brochure, this delightful and educational museum was the brainchild of Oaxaqueño, Manuel Ramirez Salvador and first opened March 19, 2000 in order to teach, preserve, and appreciate the “great heritage bequeathed by our Mesoamerican ancestors.”

Not only a museum, there is also a fabulous “old school” toy store, El Cri-Cri, named for the “grillito cantor” (the singing cricket), a character created by the beloved Francisco Gabilondo Soler.  There are no plastic, battery-powered games and toys in sight and I guarantee those “of a certain age” will be reminiscing and exclaiming, “Ooh, I used to have one of these!” and “Ahh, I always wanted one of those!”

By all means, pay El Quinto Sol a visit — even if unaccompanied by a child.

Address:  Xicotencatl No. 706 (at the corner of La Noria)
Telephone:  951.514.3579
Hours:  Monday through Friday,  9:00 AM – 2:00 PM and 4:00 – 6:00 PM
Saturday, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM.  Closed on Sunday

Read Full Post »

On Saturday, we drove to San Bartolo Coyotepec for the opening of the exhibition, Colorum, an exhibit of art by the children of Oaxaca, mounted as part of tomorrow’s el Día del Niño (Children’s Day) celebrations.  We went primarily to support my friend Juan, as his son Allan was one of the young artists participating in the show.  However, we stayed because it was a wonderfully inspiring and uplifting experience and I applaud the Museo Estatal de Arte Popular Oaxaca (MEAPO) for encouraging and showcasing the imagination and creativity of the children of Oaxaca.

P1030988

What is given to children, the children will give to society.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Children are the most important resource in the world and the best hope for the future.

The free imagination transforms the world and makes things fly.

P1030993

The Colorum exhibition lasts until May 20, 2014.  It is open from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Tuesday through Sunday.

Read Full Post »

Tomorrow, December 12, is  el Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe, aka, Queen of Mexico, Empress of America, and patron saint of México.

Legend and belief has it that in, “1525, only four years after the conquest, the Aztec Quauhtlatoatzin was baptized by a Franciscan priest, who named him Juan Diego. Six years later, on December 9th, Juan Diego witnessed the first appearance of the Virgin of Guadalupe. She told him she wanted a church built on Tepeyac Hill and told him to communicate her wish to the authorities.  Mexico’s first Bishop, Juan de Zumárraga, didn’t believe him.”  She appeared to Juan Diego three more times and with her last apparition, “she asked him to go gather some flowers: roses, which had never grown there, much less in mid-winter.  He wrapped them in his ayate or tilma, a sort of coarsely woven cape, and the Virgin told him not to open it until he was before the Bishop. When Juan Diego opened the tilma in front of Bishop Zumárraga, the roses cascaded out and they discovered the image of the Virgin imprinted upon it. ”  Thus, her iconic cloak we see in paintings and statues.

In Oaxaca, her fiesta began on December 2 and will end with a mass at 7 PM on December 13.  Today, little boys of the city, dressed as Juan Diego, and little girls, in the traditional traje (costume), were brought by parents (and grandparents) to the Templo de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe (at the north end of Llano Park), where they waited patiently in long lines to enter the church to be blessed.  Once they exited, fifteen (más o menos) “Guadalupe settings” designed and constructed by photographers and their assistants, vied for pesos for portraits.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

By the way, there was a reward awaiting the little Juan Diegos and his sisters —  rows upon rows of food stalls, carnival rides, and puestos selling toys, Santa hats, Christmas lights.

Tomorrow, I’m off to Teotitlán del Valle for their traditional Virgen de Guadalupe performance of the Danza de la Pluma.  And, did I mention yesterday’s national Day of the Clown festivities?  Stay tuned…

Read Full Post »

Today is Día de los Niños (Children’s Day) and it’s a big deal here.  Oaxaca began her celebrations days ago.  The 6th Festival of Children’s Story Telling opened on Saturday, yesterday an exibition of traditional toys (Colección Hanni Sager Juguete tradicional) had its inauguration at the Museo del Palacio, and Friday, the Guelaguetza Infantil calenda filled the streets from Santo Domingo to the Basilica de la Soledad.

As several bands played, the children from Oaxaca’s preschools wearing the traditional costumes from the 8 regions of the state of Oaxaca waited, posed, walked, danced, and threw candy to the appreciative crowds gathered on the sidewalks along the ten-block long route.  (Note, some of the little girls already practicing holding canastas (baskets) on their heads!)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Parents and teachers, many also wearing traje from the Cañada, Costa, Istmo, Mixteca, Papaloapan, Sierra Norte, Sierra Sur, and the Valles Centrales regions, proudly walked alongside the children.  Vive Oaxaca concluded their article,

With such events from the early years of life are taught to love our Oaxacan culture, traditions, music and preserve the best legacy we have: our roots. Congratulations to the teachers and parent to correctly perform with great momentum this holiday culture.  [Google translation]

Read Full Post »

On this day honoring one of the most revered icons of Mexico, the Virgin of Guadalupe

P1030015

The city of Oaxaca’s children are dressed as little Juan Diegos and their peasant sisters.

P1030029

They are brought to the Templo de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe at the north end of Llano Park.

P1030018

Here they and their parents wait patiently in a line that rings the church.

P1030028

They are waiting to enter (via the door with a large banner marked, “entrada”) the church and be blessed.

P1030058

Once they exit (via the door marked “salida”), there are photographers waiting, with burros and panoramic scenes, to take commemorative photographs — for a fee.

P1030070

The sun is hot, the lines are long, and sometimes it’s long past nap time.  By the way, there is also a carnival (with rides and games) and puestos upon puestos of food; the religious and secular meet.

Read Full Post »

I don’t know about these two hanging out on a balcony above Independencia, yesterday.

Two kneeling statues of Mary behind balcony railing on either side of a door

But, who could resist these two???  Waiting for the convite in Teotitlán del Valle last week.

Smiling girl holding smiling small boy behind decorative iron bars

Read Full Post »

When I was a child and asked, “If there is a Mother’s Day and a Father’s day, why isn’t there a Children’s Day?”  My mother’s usual reply was, “Everyday is children’s day!”  Hmmm… I never did buy her explanation, until I had kids of my own.  However, here in Mexico, there is a day to celebrate children and today is that day — Día del Niño, a day when children are made to feel special.

Schools organize parties with games and treats instead of lessons, parents may give their niños y niñas gifts, and special community activities for kids are organized.  Yesterday, here in the city, the Service Workers Union threw an all day party for 5,000 children in the annex of the Eduardo Vasconcelos baseball stadium.  There were box lunches, candy (of course), a petty zoo, games, shows, and even a raffle for new bicycles.

So, here’s to the girls and boys of Oaxaca…

girl sitting and smiling with 2 front teeth missing

To their good humor.

Boy with a hat and scarf on head

Their pride in celebrating their communities…

Girl in Istmo huipi

Their beauty…

Boy in plaid shirt and red scarf

Their amazing patience…

Girl sitting and looking sad

Even when they are shy and tired.

Young child, barefoot standing next to a car

And, especially to the street children, who, despite the challenges of their lives, seem to find ways to “just be kids.”

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: