Posts Tagged ‘velaria’

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.


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


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.


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.


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


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La Guelaguetza is coming.  However, the drama/comedy/telenovela/fairly tale (you take your pick) that is the Guelaguetza Auditorium velaria (canopy) has again grabbed Oaxaca’s headlines.  “Why?” you might ask.  Good question!  Perhaps a little history is in order…

Once upon a time and for a very long time, the auditorium, perched on Cerro del Fortín high above the beautiful city of Oaxaca, was velaria-less — no canopy to protect spectators and performers from sun and rain.  However, in 2009 the Big Bad Wolf, who was then the governor and in need of some good PR, decided to spend 104 million pesos to build a roof over the auditorium.  The people did not like the governor, they did not like the expense, and they most certainly did not like the design — the word, el pañal (the diaper) frequently tripped off the tongue of many when describing it.  Alas, the workmanship left much to be desired and the 2010 Guelaguetza had to be relocated to the university soccer stadium.  The people were not happy!

By July 2011, a Prince Charming had replaced the Big Bad Wolf as governor, a new velaria was in place (though it still looked like a diaper), and La Guelaguetza returned to the hill overlooking the city.  Cue mild applause.

Guelaguetza AuditoriumAlas, the lackluster clapping came to an abrupt halt one evening in March 2012, when a moderate wind ripped the right wing (I kid you not) off.  A sign?

Guelaguetza Auditorium with missing wing. A poll at the time ran 2:1 against replacing the velaria.  Of course, no one listens to the people, though a week later, for the safety of all, the left wing of the cover was also removed.

Guelaguetza auditorium without the wings; Mexican flag on the left.Guelaguetzas 2012, 2013, and 2014 came and went and not much more came to pass.  Yours truly even experienced the abbreviated velaria at last year’s performance, though I kept glancing up at the structure to make sure it was still intact.

IMG_4933 The end of our story?  No, of course not!  In January, Sinfra (Ministry of Infrastructure and Sustainable Land Management) declared the saga must go on.  Thus, in March of this year, it was trumpeted throughout the land that work on a brand new velaria was to commence.  There would be no cost to the people, as the original company, the Big Bad Wolf’s friends at Lonas Lorenzo, would be footing the bill, and work would be completed in time for this year’s Guelaguetza.  Though the people did not cheer, down came the old…

P1090865Completed in time for this year’s Guelaguetza, did I write?  Well, into every tale a little drama must fall — today’s Noticias heralded the news that, alas and alack, due to a labor dispute, the work will not be finished in time for next month’s Guelaguetza performances.  The people are not surprised.  The world turns and the saga continues…

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With all the excitement about yesterday’s earthquake, I didn’t even notice the south wing of the infamous Guelaguetza auditorium velaria (cover) had been removed.

Guelaguetza auditorium without the wings; Mexican flag on the left.

According to an article in yesterday’s Noticias, the central cover will be reinforced and remain through July’s annual Guelaguetza performances.  After that???  The fate of the velaria is up in the air.  😉

And, yes, the sky is that blue today!

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From today’s walk…

Side view of missing wing of Guelaguetza Auditorium

Just a sliver of canvas (or whatever the stingray is made of) left hanging from the missing wing of the Guelaguetza Auditorium.

Chris, over a Oaxaca-The Year After, also has photos.  This is big news!

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Remember the Guelaguetza Auditorium?   July 25, 2011…

Guelaguetza Auditorium with full cover

After moderate winds Friday night,  Guelaguetza Auditorium, March 11, 2012…

Guelaguetza Auditorium with missing wing.

Something missing here?  “Stingray” missing a flap???

According to reports in Sunday’s Noticias, experts at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) will conduct an analysis re what happened to cause a part of this controversial and (seemingly) cursed covering to collapse.  The report further states, there is a possibility that the warranty will “cover” a replacement and, no matter what the result, the annual July Guelaguetza shows will go on!

A poll on the Vive Oaxaca Facebook page is currently running about 2:1 against replacing the velaria (cover).

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