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

Monday, May 26, 2014

First visit to San Juan Bautista Coixtlahuaca

Yesterday, we drove 100 k. north to the village of San Juan Bautista Coixtlahuaca in the Mixteca Alta region of Oaxaca.  It was la fiesta religiosa de San Isidro Labrador week and the village was packed.  The festivities go on for six days so it is impossible to take it all in in just a few hours, but wow, what a great scene.  The primary reason for making the short trek was to see the church and adjoining convent, another 16th century marvel.  Like the other Dominican churches in nearby Yanhuitlan and Teposcolula, this one is undergoing a dramatic restoration that will continue for the next thirty years.

Normally, the village has just a few thousand inhabitants and I want to go back soon to see what it is like without all the craziness.  The thing that strikes one immediately is the ruggedness of the countryside and how the village occupies a wonderful large flat plain with the mountains all around.
One also senses the antiquity of the place.  Coixtlahuaca was founded in 37 A.D. and the name in Nahuatl means "plain of snakes.".... Let me just interject here for all the nut-wagons who keep saying they want to "take the country back".... uh, never mind.
So the place is a couple of thousand years old and you can feel it.  And it felt like it had a very solid economy.  The houses were large, the streets wide and well-kept.
The church was completed in 1576 after forty years of construction and has seen a lot of wear and tear over the centuries.
The new stonework which was behind scaffolding looked fantastic.  One could tell that at one point all the walls and ceiling had been painted, but it looked like the interior restoration was going to repeat the mistakes of Yanhuitlan and make everything an austere white.   Arrggg!
This was just the first visit and the place was so intriguing, I have to go back very soon.  It is an easy drive from Oaxaca, just over an hour and change to get there.

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