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Posts Tagged ‘construction workers’

Today is Día de la Santa Cruz (Day of the Holy Cross).  Lest anyone forget, there have been booms and bangs throughout the day to remind one and all!  And, most years, the day finds me huffing and puffing my way up to the top of Picacho, the sacred mountain that looms above Teotitlán del Valle — joining the Zapotec villagers in a Prehispanic ritual asking for rain.

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It is also the Día del Abañil (Day of the mason/stonemason/bricklayer) and it is tradition for workers to erect crosses festooned with flowers at the highest point on construction sites.  According to Mexconnect, in 1960, Pope John XXIII removed Día de la Santa Cruz from the liturgical calendar, but Mexico being Mexico and construction workers being construction workers, they ignored the Pope.  Eventually, understanding the relationship of forces, he gave Mexico a special dispensation to celebrate this day.

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For me, today the city brought a much welcomed surprise.  As anyone who has traversed the first block of Garcia Vigil (between Independencia and Morelos) during the past nine months can attest, it has been a challenge not to slip, trip, or fall thanks to the warped “temporary” plywood laid down over what used to be a solid, if not smooth, sidewalk.  However, on this day celebrating abañiles, they were hard at work on a new “real” sidewalk!

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No cross on the worksite, but definitely a Día de la Santa Cruz/Día del Albañil miracle!

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From top to bottom, Guelaguetza preparations are in full swing.  There is yet another attempt in the Never-ending tale of a velaria, as workers scramble hundreds of feet in the air to add the missing “wings” to the Guelaguetza Auditorium canopy.

Guelaguetza Auditorium velaria

Workmen are prepping buildings in the Historic District for fresh coats of paint.

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Construction is underway in Llano Park (aka, Paseo Juárez “El Llano”) to ready it for the XIX Feria Internacional del Mezcal 2016.

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Near the top of Macedonio Alcalá (aka, Andador Turístico), puestos (booths) have been erected for artisans, invited from throughout the state, to display and (hopefully) sell their wares.

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And, everyone is holding their breath and making offerings to the gods overseeing phase two of the García Vigil pedestrian walkway that the work will be completed before the first Guelaguetza desfile (parade of delegations) on July 23.

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And, me?  I just bought tickets to the Mole Festival degustación at the Jardín Etnobotánico on July 22!  Yummm…

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I usually don’t spend much time walking along Crespo — the bus fumes and traffic noise are enough to have one holding one’s nose, covering one’s ears, and detouring to another street, as soon as possible!  However, a (not-so-little) birdie told me to check out the stairs up to the Guelaguetza Auditorium.

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Yikes!!!   An improvement project has been underway from Crespo all the way up to the Auditorium since the end of April.  Runners, walkers, and residents need to use an alternative route.  As the sign says, “Sorry for the inconvenience.”

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I spoke to one of the workmen and asked, if the project is going to be finished in time for the Guelaguetza.  After all, the first performance of Donají la Leyenda is scheduled for the night of July 24 and la Guelaguetza begins the following morning — that’s less than a month away.  He assured me the work would be completed.

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Speaking of the Guelaguetza…  Vive Oaxaca has a notice (in red, no less!) essentially saying, that because of the number of messages they have received regarding information about the current conflicts in Oaxaca, they feel compelled to announce that they have no information about the cancellation of Guelaguetza.  As far as they know, everything is continuing as planned, but advise visitors to monitor official information from the Ministry of Tourism and Economic Development of the State of Oaxaca.

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This morning, I awoke to the familiar, if startling, sounds of cohetes (rockets).  Oh right, it’s Día de la Santa Cruz (Day of the Holy Cross).  Alas, no pilgrimage hike up Cerro Picacho for us this year; we are still in recovery from our island adventure AND, more importantly, even at 7:30 AM, it is too darn hot!  Have I mentioned Oaxaca has been experiencing 90º – 96º F temperatures for the past month?  That’s 10º F above average.  Exhausting it is and sweltering we are.

However, before the sun was directly overhead, I returned to Benito Juárez mercado hoping my coffee guy would be there.  He wasn’t, but many of the stalls had beautifully decorated alters, fragrant with the sweet scent of flor de mayo (plumeria) blossoms.

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In Mexico, it is also Día del Albañil, the feast day of the stonemason/bricklayer/builder because, according to this article (en español):

Before the Conquest, the indigenous Mesoamerican related to the cross with the cardinal directions of the Indian cosmography north, south, east, west and central graphically formed the cross.

With the arrival of the Spaniards, this evocation was eradicated and replaced by religious symbolism of the Holy Cross.

Since then the celebration of this feast with the construction of houses, churches, monasteries, and other buildings with Indian labor was established.

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However, Sebastián and Leonardo continued working on my new counter.  And, yes, there will be tile!

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Lots of street action around the city these days, and I don’t just mean marches and blockades!  They’ve been hard at work on an Andador Semipeatonal (semi-walking street) since ground was broken on November 24, 2014.

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Garcia Vigil has been a construction zone from Templo del Carmen Alto up to the Cruz de Piedra.  No cars and trucks allowed, but we pedestrians can walk right on through.

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The work on this and the four other downtown streets that have been earmarked for “rescue” and “beautification” is mostly done the old-fashioned way.  What can I say?  I love the sound of hammer and chisel!

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According to news reports, the street will be spiffed up with garbage bins, benches, and planters.  Ramps for people with limited mobility and signs for the visually impaired are in the plan, though a bike lane is only contemplated.

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Oaxaqueñ@s work really hard!

 

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Need a facelift?

Roll of chicken wire leaning up against chipped wall of under Casa Oaxaca sign

Apparently, Casa Oaxaca and neighbor, Galeria Quetzalli, both do.

Two guys on scaffold chipping away plaster from face of building

You might want to consider these guys.

Guy mixing cement with a shovel in front of scaffolding

They work hard.

Guy mixing cement with shovel, guy on scaffold, and another standing on sidewalk plastering wall

And, all work is done with care and by hand!

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Apparently, the end result of much of the work noted in my Día de la Raza post is the difference between day…

Workmen atop a cupola of Iglesia de San José against blue sky.

and night…

Lighted cupolas of Iglesia de San José against black night sky.

As fellow blogger Chris revealed, the word around town is… Let there be light!

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