The here and now... and what and why

Complacency is a trap. At least that’s what I was thinking when I up and left the comfort of a Yankee prep school gig, where I taught music, amongst other things, for 28 years. There was also that life long career as a composer, musician and artist.

First, it was a year in St. Thomas, USVI, working as a reporter and shooting photography and then, a year in San Agustin Etla, Oaxaca, Mexico.
Time passed.
More time passed and a year back in the Athens of America followed by a hasty return to Oaxaca where it is all happening.
A couple of years in San Sebastian Etla and now, just down the road in San Pablo Etla. Life is good.

Click on an image to see it larger.
For additional photography please visit my flickr page.
You can find my music on Jango (World & latin - Worldbeat) and at iTunes and most online stores.
¡Soy consciente de todas las tradiciones del Internet!
If you are coming to Oaxaca, please contact me for tours or advice.

Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo
The view from Corazon del Pueblo

The hereafter re me

My photo
Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico
Musician, photographer, videographer, reporter, ex-officio teacher, now attempting to be a world traveler

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Walk a mile in these?...

Not only can they walk, they can dance. 
Traditional monos dancing in front of the cathedral.  Look how tall those stilts are.
Always popular, another wonderful tradition found in Oaxaca. 

Monday, May 13, 2019

This Mexican Life....

Traveling carnivals with lots of rides and booths are a part of life here with all the Saint's Day celebrations and fiestas.  It always looks like a hard life to me, the carny life.
The rides, food stalls and games fill the streets.  They are there for a few days and then off to the next.  The rides always look kinda shaky, but I think I could handle this one.... as if I could fit in one of those cups.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Waiting for Godot - Cocijo style

It is hot and very dry.  The heat seem endless and it is wearing people down. We are all waiting for Cocijo, the Zapotec god of rain, thunder, and lightning to make an appearance and he is due any day now.....ojala.... I hope.  This mural says it all... "Villages with Water.  Villages with Life."
"Remember that the valley of Ocotlan has cienegas (permanently saturated ground under the soil)  and wetlands.  The water is free."  The small print mentions that water should not be sold as merchandise and should be conserved".

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Sign of the times...

This shot was hard to get as it is on the Pan-American highway at the northern side of El Fortin where the traffic is always crazy.  It's an intersection where five roads intersect.  The Truth must be exposed!
Mezcal is taking off globally and Oaxaca is filled with field after field of different varieties of agave.  Move over tequila.  Mezcal is taking over.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

This is so Oaxaca....

Canastas, baskets, filled with flowers, no doubt for some celebration.  Perhaps a calenda, a wedding, a performance, but no matter what, dancing, definitely, will be involved.

Monday, April 29, 2019

I love this place - Flat tire edition

I woke up to discover a flat tire this morning.  No big deal.  I put on the spare and drove just down the road to the very first tire place I saw and in twelve minutes my flat was repaired and back on the car.  They noticed I was missing a hubcap and they had an extra that fit.  Total cost $100 MP, about $5 US.  All thanks to this gentleman and his two fellow workers.
That's one of the things I love about this place.  Car problems are so easily taken care of and always with a smile and a great price.  So different from El Norte.  Yay!!

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Mural, Mural, on the wall....

There are some beautiful new murals adorning the walls of the market in Tlacolula.
They cover the entire left side of the main entrance.  And, of course, there are so many iconic images of the market and Tlacolula, like the breads that are just on the other side of that wall.
Cacao and chocolate.....
Into the traditional oven...
We were lucky to see one of the three artists who created these wonderful murals.
Marmotas, the globes, baskets, the traditional traje... and the ladies from San Marcos with their barro rojo..... perfecto!
Not to mention the Feria de Mezcal, Nieves and Vinagre which ends today.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Magic nails...

Magic nails!... I needed some for a construction project... oh, wait.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Tejate time...

What a wonderful sight, right near Santo Domingo, on the Alcala,  the pedestrian walkway, a Feria de Tejate, with at least a hundred women from nearby San Andres Huayapam, the village most famous for this pre-Hispanic drink.
It is a complex concoction that requires much time and effort. Ingredients include toasted maize, fermented cacao beans, toasted mamey pits and flor de cacao.  And look at the size of that bowl!
It is very popular here.  The Queen was there...
And some princesses, too.
And not only something to drink, but lots of chocolate goodies.
Oh, the temptations.
Here's a link to more info and a recipe. If you hurry, you can still grab a glassful..

Monday, April 22, 2019

Float like a butterfly...

A magical moment from the Jarabe Mixteca in San Marcos last weekend.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

The future looks bright...

Today, we were lucky to get a glimpse of what the next three years will look like as we were introduced to some of the dancers in the new group of danzantes de pluma in Teotitlan del Valle.  Here are the next Malinche and Doña Marina, already poised and confident....with el Maestro Javier Gutierrez.
And they can dance! 
They looked great. 
July will bring their formal introduction.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Procesion de Silencio

The Procesion de Silencio is always such a beautiful visual experience, but there is much more to this annual Good Friday celebration.  It is that rare somber event that is quite thought provoking and moving as hundreds of participants and thousands of spectators share a long moment of silence.
Led by the lone sound of a drum, slowly beating once every ten seconds, the procession lasts over thirty minutes to pass any one point ans the whole route is several kms long.
Many more women carrying the statues, often in bare feet.
Imagine the feelings while carrying this cross
And many do it, such commitment.... the sound of the dragging crosses is ethereal.
More examples of penitence, of carrying that weight.

The procession begins...

Procesion de Silencio..... more to come.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

This Mexican Life....

A part of Mexico's history, organ grinders are still a fairly common sight here in Oaxaca.  A European import, they go back to the 1800's and always wear the same uniform, tan with a black kepi....  but hers is white!  This woman, and her beautiful instrument, had a partner who was passing the hat on the northern side of El Fortin, at a very busy intersection.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Carry that Weight - El Burro

Palm Sunday in San Antonino Castillo Velasco is always so special for numerous reasons. First, the people and the welcoming ambiance they create.  Then there is the commitment of the the entire village to celebrate this holy day. 
People cover the statue of Christ on his burro with the most amazing fruits, vegetables and breads... and I mean cover.  Look at all that stuff and they were nowhere near done. Blogger buddy Shannon at Casita Colibri, also has a couple of posts covering the event.
Here is the burro partly covered and yes, he has legs.  The quality of the produce is remarkable.
Nearing completion.  Note the ring of bread on the arm.
Finally, long poles are inserted and the whole thing is lifted and carried by about thirty men for the one km trek to the church where hundreds are waiting.
It is a long hard haul.
It is a remarkable and inspirational commitment, carrying that weight...
Semana Santa continues....