Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘popular travel destinations’

Dorothy and Pedro spotted on Calle Murguia, Oaxaca.

IMG_4398_b&w

Another mashup by Efedefroy.

Read Full Post »

The thermometer hovers in the low 90’s (F), a very occasional late afternoon thunderstorm clears the air and cleans the sidewalks, and the high-pitched song of the cicadas (aka, cigarras and chicharras) add to Oaxaca’s soundtrack.

IMG_4057

In addition, “shaving brushes” are seen springing from the branches of the Pseudobombax ellipticum trees — commonly known here as Cabellos de Ángel (angel hair).

IMG_4417

In my garden, the night blooming cereus (Epiphyllum hookeri) have been greeting me early in the morning.

IMG_4055

And, my pistachio tree, which the leaf cutter ants stripped of all its leaves eight months ago, has rebounded and produced its first nut.  Such is spring in Oaxaca!

Read Full Post »

Since I went to the market today and we are on the topic of murals in Oaxaca…    

IMG_4379

The Calle Porfirio Díaz entrance to my “go to” Mercado Sánchez Pascuas has undergone a make-over to commemorate the 487th anniversary of the elevation of Oaxaca de Juárez to the status of city.

IMG_4382

On April 25 (Oaxaca’s official birthday) city officials, market Board of Directors, and the artists gathered for the mural’s inauguration and ceremonial ribbon cutting.

IMG_4383

Javier Santos, professor of sculpture at the Taller de Artes Plásticas Rufino Tamayo, explained that the mural represents a collection of symbolic images, contextualizing life in the city and market.  How many of these symbols (many Prehispanic) do you recognize?

IMG_4384

Javier Santos continued, “It is important that there is availability and openness on the part of the Municipal Government to bring people the great talent of Oaxacan artists through the exhibition of works in public spaces, because in them people have the opportunity to visualize the graphic quality of our state.” (Google translation)

IMG_4385

Here is to the artists!  May the magic of their creativity continue to illuminate the past, find truth in the present, and inspire the future. 

IMG_4380

And, let us hope the city of Oaxaca will see more mural construction and less mural destruction.

Read Full Post »

If one lives in Oaxaca long enough, the probability is high that you have purchased at least one piece of barro rojo pottery from the women of San Marcos Tlapazola.  Goodness knows, I have over the years — lunch plates, pitchers and urns, small decorative dishes for salsa, and, of course, a comal.  Alas, it’s hard to resist just another piece or two and so blogger buddy Chris (whose collection of barro rojo FAR exceeds mine) and I headed to San Marcos (44 km southeast of the city) last Sunday for the second day of their Esplendor Del Barro Rojo fair.

IMG_4245

Oh, the pottery!

IMG_4250

Women of San Marcos Tlapazola.

IMG_4253

Red clay pottery and performance watchers.

IMG_4246

Divinely light and flavorful higadito.

IMG_4244

The temptation of red clay pottery.

IMG_4260

The dignity and pride of an accomplished artisan (and fashionista).

It was a feast of pottery, food, music, dance, textiles, and warm and welcoming people.  What more could anyone want on a Sunday afternoon?  And, yes, I did buy a piece or two.

Read Full Post »

Yesterday, the village of Teotitlán del Valle and its Comité del Museo Comunitario (Community Museum Committee) welcomed the public to the inauguration of the first phase of the restoration of the archaeological zone beneath the Templo de la Preciosa Sangre de Cristo.  Before the arrival of the Spanish, the area had been a Zapotec ceremonial plaza.

P1000653

Before:  Teotitlán del Valle archeological site, December 2013

A little background:  In 1553, Oaxaca’s Archbishop Albuquerque ordered the demolition of all Zapotec structures, including those in Teotitlán del Valle.  And, as was the practice of the day, in 1581 the Dominican friars began building their church atop the original Zapotec ceremonial complex.

IMG_3337

During:  Teotitlán del Valle archeological site restoration, February 2019

They scavenged building materials from the Zapotec site (some can be seen in the exterior walls of the church) and tried to erase all evidence of the rich and complex belief system that was already in place.

IMG_3339

During:  Sidewalk supervisor dog keeps an eye on the restoration work at the Teotitlán del Valle archeological site, February 2019.

As regular readers of my blog know, I visit Teotitlán often and am always amazed at the construction projects that pop up — new buildings, additions to homes, and street repairs.  However, this past February, when touring out-of-town friends around Teotitlán, I was surprised to see work being done in the archeological zone.

IMG_3340

During:  Teotitlán del Valle archeological site restoration, February 2019. Note the numbered pieces.

After three years of effort to obtain the necessary permits from the INAH (National Institute of Anthropology and History), the work on the restoration of the “basement” began in January 2019.  The end goal is to reclaim, rehabilitate, and restore the Prehispanic Zapotec ceremonial complex.  Teotitlán’s site is concurrent with nearby Mitla, thus the presence of grecas, the fretwork that characterizes the site 15 miles to the southeast.

IMG_4269

After:  Teotitlán del Valle archeological site restoration inauguration day, April 22, 2019.

I’m looking forward to what the next phase will reveal!  By the way, as is the custom in Teotitlán, this major civic event included not only speeches by gathered dignitaries, but also a procession, a performance of dances from the Danza de la Pluma, food, and a concert.

Read Full Post »

The sounds of this morning’s Santo Viacrusis (Stations of the Cross) moving closer, brought me into the mostly deserted streets before 9:00 AM.

IMG_4068

A block away, I found Jesús, La Virgen María, a priest, acolytes, the faithful, and a loudspeaker on the back of a pickup truck.

IMG_4064

Led by the children, images of María and Jesús from churches throughout the city had taken to the streets.

IMG_4085

Stopping along the way to pray and sing, the solemn throng made their way to the Cathedral for a farewell encounter between Mary and Jesus.

IMG_4093

It will be a long day for all concerned.  Following the encuentro, they will process back to their churches for a bit of a rest before this evening’s grand Procession of Silence.

Read Full Post »

It takes 30+ men, doing some heavy lifting, to carry San Salvador, his burro, and Palm Sunday bounty the kilometer between San Antonino Castillo Velasco’s cemetery and village church.

IMG_4038

IMG_4039

IMG_4040

The strength of their devotion.

Read Full Post »

Yesterday was another special Domingo de Ramos (Palm Sunday) in San Antonino Castillo Velasco.  This is a Zapotec village famous for the cultivation of flowers and exquisitely embroidered blouses and dresses, inspired by said flowers.  Returning year-after-year, I never cease to be uplifted by the warmth of the people and the bounty they bring to the image of San Salvador sitting atop his little burro outside the panteón.  The best of their fruits, vegetables, herbs, livestock, clothing, flowers, and much more are gratefully received by a committee, priced, and later-in-the-day, sold to raise money for a designated project.

A little after noon, San Salvador (his burro now filled to the brim), offerings, and the faithful were blessed by the priest.  Fireworks exploded, rhythmic sounds of the traditional teponaxtles (drums) and chirimía (small oboe) sounded, and led by a trail of bougainvillea bracts and the smoke of copal, the litter of San Salvador atop the burro and carried by 30+ men, set off on a journey to the atrium of the church.  They were followed by villagers and visitors carrying the remainder of the goods collected — a ritual reenactment of the Biblical story of Jesus entering Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover.

The procession successfully navigated overhead wires above and heeded warnings of “topes” (speed bumps) below.  A kilometer down this perilous route, San Salvador and the faithful, young and old, approached the atrium of the church, San Salvador was set on the stage where an outdoor mass was to be said, and on the opposite side, the hand-and-head-carried offerings were to be sold.  I cannot begin to express how warm and welcoming the people of San Antonino Castillo Velasco were.  Wearing a blusa from San Antonino, that I purchased several years ago, I was smiled upon and, as I was taking photos, officials and other villagers ushered me to the front.  Again, I ask, how many magical moments can one person have?

Read Full Post »

Today found me (courtesy of blogger buddy Chris) savoring market day in Tlacolula de Matamoros.  The Sunday market is one of the oldest continuous tianguis in Mesoamerica, a commercial center for the neighboring communities, and a beehive of energy and activity.

There is food…

IMG_3770

Chiles and more

IMG_3775

Chickens roasting on an open fire

IMG_3767

A bounty of fruit

Necessary cooking equipment, Oaxaca style…

IMG_3799

Gourds for measuring and serving, palm fans for fanning the cooking flames, and brushes for moving ingredients about the comal

IMG_3804

Metate for grinding corn, chocolate, dyes, etc.

IMG_3808

Molcajetes necessary for crushing and grinding herbs, spices, and making the best salsas and guacamole

And, most of all, people…

IMG_3776

Poultry shopper and hammock seller

IMG_3781

Tortilla vendors

IMG_3787

Garlic vendor

Market day in Tlacolula is chicken soup for my soul.

Read Full Post »

Tonight, the clocks in most of Mexico spring ahead.

IMG_3766

IMG_3647

IMG_3747

However, the flowers are on their own time and the Flor de Mayo (aka, Plumeria, Frangipani) have already begun to bloom.

Read Full Post »

There is magic on the walls of Oaxaca.

IMG_3615

IMG_3618

IMG_3616

IMG_3619

You  never know what you will see when you take another route home.

 

Read Full Post »

Even leftover decorations from a Día de la Samaritana agua station in front of an abandoned building are beautiful in their own way.

IMG_3741

Seen on García Vigil at the corner of Jesús Carranza.

Read Full Post »

If you are in Oaxaca and it’s the fourth Friday of Lent, it must be Día de la Samaritana, an “only in Oaxaca” celebration.  This Day of the Good Samaritan was inspired by the Gospel of John story in the New Testament where a tired and thirsty Jesus, on his way to Galilee, asks a Samaritan woman at Jacob’s Well in Sychar for some water.

IMG_3660

Decorating a well outside the Cathedral

IMG_3707

Sign proclaiming the day, seen on the Alcalá

His request was highly unusual because, according to the Old Testament, “Jews regarded the Samaritans as foreigners and their attitude was often hostile.”  The woman complied with his request and the rest is history.

IMG_3737

Scene at the well outside Templo de San José

IMG_3721

Live actors waiting to reenact the scene

Celebrating the Good Samaritan in Oaxaca began in the atriums of churches at the end of the 19th century and is a popular and much-loved tradition.  Thus I joined thousands of Oaxaqueños and visitors, clutching cups, and wandering from one decorated agua station to another sampling their offerings.

IMG_3731

Samaritana station serving nieve at the Municipal Palace

IMG_3670

One of scores of agua stations on the Alcalá

People of all ages, from small children to grandparents, lined up at bougainvillea and palm decorated booths in front of churches, restaurants, businesses, schools, and even the city’s municipal office building for the traditional Día de la Samaritana free aguas.

IMG_3687

Hand painted ollas in front of Templo de Sangre de Cristo

IMG_3654

Hand painted jicara gourds waiting to be filled with tejate

These “water stations” are often decorated in a violet shade of purple, the color of Lent, symbolizing penance and royalty.  And, the ollas (pots) holding the aguas seem to get more decorative every year.

IMG_3674

Agua stations along the Alcalá

IMG_3700

Watermelon and mint agua station on García Vigil

We are not talking plain water, these are divinely flavored aguas frescas made with fresh fruits, herbs, flowers, and more — jamaica (hibiscus), horchata, chilacayote (squash), tamarindo, sandia (watermelon), tejate, and nieve (sorbet).  Even taxi drivers played the role of Good Samaritans.

IMG_3714

Nieve station in doorway of lingerie store on Independencia

IMG_3709

Taxi drivers host agua station on the Alameda

In previous years, the aftermath hath wrought mountains of garbage — cans overflowing with plastic and styrofoam.  However, this year, in the name of the environment, an appeal was made for people to bring their own cups.  And, I think a majority complied!

IMG_3695

On the Alcalá above Santo Domingo

IMG_3651

An olla with Agua de chilacayote (type of squash)

And me?  After almost two hours, three aguas (watermelon with mint, cucumber with mint, and chilacayote), a nieve of leche quemada and tuna, and being surrounded by smiling people enjoying this celebration of generosity, I returned home with my heart full of love and gratitude for the traditions of Oaxaca.

Read Full Post »

After a few nights of a drop or two, we had an real rainstorm last night.

IMG_3638

The sound of rain lulled me to sleep last night.

IMG_3632

This morning I awoke to clear a clear sky and a glistening garden.

IMG_3634

While no one believes this is the start of the rainy season, it is much welcome evidence that Cocijo hasn’t forsaken the valley of Oaxaca.

Cee’s Flower of the Day

Read Full Post »

Yesterday, Mexico celebrated el Día del Artesano (Day of the Artisan).  Alas, I’m a day late in recognizing the men and women whose artistry in carrying on traditions and renewing and enriching them with their own creative spirit contributes to Oaxaca’s vibrant cultural life and economy.  However, the entire month of March has been designated “month of the artisan,” so here are several of the artesanas and artesanos who I have had the honor and joy of knowing and visiting over the past year.

IMG_3341

Emilia Gonzalez, wool spinning and dying in Teotitlán del Valle

IMG_2027

Juan Manuel García Esperanza, silver filigree, Ciudad de Oaxaca

IMG_3041

Carrizo basket maker from San Juan Guelavía

IMG_8447

Barro rojo (red clay) potters from San Marcos Tlapazola

IMG_3482

Mural painters in San Martín Tilcajete

IMG_1215

Weaver from Santo Tomás Jalieza

IMG_1980

Eligio Zárate, potter, Santa María Atzompa

IMG_4916

Jesús Sosa Calvo, wood carver and painter, San Martín Tilcaje

IMG_3112

Seamstress, embroiderer, crocheter, Sra. Gutiérrez from Teotitlán del Valle

IMG_3251

Don Luís, weaver, Ciudad de Oaxaca

A very special thank you to Don Luís, whose weaving studio shares a wall with my apartment and I have the pleasure of seeing and hearing most every day.  The rhythmic sounds of his loom are one of the songs on the soundtrack of my Oaxaca life.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: