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Posts Tagged ‘Zimatlán de Álvarez’

Flora and fauna and mezcal, oh my! That pretty much sums up the next stop on my day in the country adventure with friends. After leaving Villa de Zaachila, we headed south to Zimatlán de Álvarez and the working farm and palenque of René Parada Barriga (sold under label, Tío René). René was at a meeting, so his son Moisés capably took over the palenque’s touring and teaching duties.

Tithonia diversifolia (aka, Mexican sunflower) reaching toward the sky.
Agave plantlets waiting to be planted.
Nonchalant cattle relaxing in the shade.
Friendly goat saying, “buenas tardes.”
Tools of the trade.
Omnipresent home altar.
Cooking pit awaiting the next batch of agave.
Fermentation vats.
Copper stills.
Moisés offering a taste.
Sophia filling one of our empty bottles.

We came prepared, bringing our own plastic bottles and René’s wife Sophia poured and sold. I bought a lovely copper distilled Cuish and, once home, transferred it into one of my many empty glass bottles — saved for days such as this. Our next (and last) stop was another palenque. Stay tuned!

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It didn’t start that way; I awoke to horrifying news from Colorado.  Thank goodness blogger buddy Chris called and the heart that beats in Oaxaca beckoned.

First stop was the “Al Son del Valle,” an exhibition of canastas from 17  villages in the central valleys of Oaxaca.  These are baskets that are carried on the heads of women during calendas (parades); you may remember them from previous posts on the convites in Teotitlán del Valle.  The art of crafting canastas and the traditions and culture they represent have been proudly and lovingly passed down through the generations.

San Antonino Castillo Velasco canasta decorated with Flor Inmortal, the flower that never dies.

Canasta from San Mateo Macuilxóchitl

From San Jerónimo Tlacochahuaya, these canastas are lit and become pinwheels of fireworks at the end of a calenda.

Canasta of Las Chinas Oaxaqueñas of the city of Oaxaca

Canasta from Tlacolula de Matamoros.

Canasta from Zimatlán de Álvarez made of crepe paper.

Muchas gracias, Oaxaca, I needed that!

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