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

Friday, February 3, 2017

Julia Martinez Bautista - 100 years!

How wonderful it was to be at the celebration in Teotitlan del Valle, for one of the village's most esteemed citizens, Julia Martinez Bautista and for her birthday as she crossed the century mark.  Doña Julia is the matriarch of a large extended family and mother of Emilia, one of our favorite people and one of the best cooks ever.  Mother and daughter....
Yes, one hundred years of life and her story is a remarkable one.  A century in one of the most magical and traditional Zapotec villages in all of Mexico.  She lives alone and still go to the market every day.
We joined the  celebration at the church where there was a mass after which she was greeted by a band.
Then everyone processed through the streets to her home.
 The guest of honor arrives.
It was time for lots of food, drink, music and dancing.  The party was short by Zapotec standards... only one day, but one that went very late into the night, not like the four day affair last week.  I have lots of shots of her over the years, mostly from the weddings of her grandchildren, which I was lucky enough to attend.
One of my favorites is her sorting corn for Sergio and Virginia's wedding. 
Her hands tell the story.
It was such an honor to be there and to see so much love and respect for this remarkable woman.
Felicidades, Doña Julia,.  Here's to the next hundred.


Anonymous said...

Very beautiful photo's and story.
You and Shannon have a great relationship with the people of Teotitlan and it comes through in your photo's and stories.
You can see that you have the spirit of this wonderful town in your soul.
Steve in Connecticut

Christopher Stowens said...

Gracias, Steve. Yes, it is such an honor to get deeper and deeper into this village and its culture. The more we learn, the less we know, but the more we give, the more we get back. The place has been so good for us and taught us so much. Plus, good food and great friends!

Anonymous said...

Truly beautiful and represents culture and a beautiful life filled with love and celebration. May Teotitlan Del Valle cherish her 100 yrs of live for 100 more yrs.

sonya melescu said...

Wonderful story and you have had the honor of photographing Julia for years. The beautiful lines on her face, tell her character and shows the beauty of aging. Her long white hair, gives her wisdom. Her hands represent the years of work, hard work, and still doing it. Her eyes to her soul. The Queen of Teotitlan Del Valle. May she have many more birthdays and you have the honor of photographing her. What a wonderful life you & Shannon have.