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Posts Tagged ‘toritos’

In the hour leading up to the Guelaguetza Desfile de delagaciones, last minute prep work…

marmota assembly

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Mask

Makeup application

Props at the ready…

torito

Monos

Mezcal containers

boy and turkey

Human parade participants sit and wait…

Cart and gals

Danza de la Pluma danzante

Musicians

Women and masked man

And, spectators hang out on the sidewalks…

Women on cell phones

What did we all do before cell phones?

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Tuesday morning, from the plaza in front of the Basilica de la Soledad, the sound of speeches, music, and explosions announced Día del Barrendero — a day celebrating the founding of the Sindicato Independiente 3 de Marzo.  These are the street sweepers, garbage collectors, and laborers of Oaxaca.

Earlier in the morning, a procession brought union members, their families, and friends from Cinco Señores to the Basílica, where a special mass was celebrated to honor the patron saint of Oaxaca, la Virgen de la Soledad.  Raul, a lifelong street sweeper whose work day begins at 3 AM, is quoted as explaining, “We have to thank our mother, the Virgin of Soledad, for the blessings every day gives us.”

March 3rd — brought to you by the gals and guys who keep the city clean.

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Yesterday was another of the “ya just never know…” days.  Returning to the city from Xoxocotlán after looking at the house my (soon-to-be-former) neighbor is building, the taxi driver pointed down Independencia and said something that we interpreted as, “day of the garbage collector.”  So, instead of going home, my camera and I walked in the direction he pointed and, sure enough, a side street was lined with decorated garbage trucks.

decorated garbage trucks

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However, this day wasn’t for just any old garbage collectors; being March 3rd, it celebrated the founding of the Sindicato Independiente 3 de Marzo of the municipality of Oaxaca.  Depending on which newspaper report one reads, it is either the 34th, 38th, or 39th anniversary.

Marmota with banner

These are the city workers who keep the state’s capital clean — the garbage collectors, street sweepers, drivers, and laborers.  And, the city of Oaxaca IS clean, putting San Francisco to shame!  After a Thanksgiving mass, most of the 1,200 “trabajadores de limpia” and their families filled the plaza in front of the Basilica de la Soledad.  And, like all good Oaxacan celebrations, there were monos, dancers, marmotas, bands, toritos, and the whistles, whirrs, and booms of fireworks (of the all bang, no bling variety).

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So, now you know where to be and what to do next March 3rd!

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It’s been a week since the end of Semana Santa and I’m still sorting through photos and videos and reflecting on impressions and feelings.  However, I’m finding that, with too much thinking, the experience slips through the fingers and the magic vanishes.

Thus, I give you the night of Pascuas (Easter) at Carmen Alto…

And then, the hisses, bangs, and brilliant explosions of a castillo…

Flaming castillo

brought Semana Santa to a spectacular close.

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