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.

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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

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Chocolate is an important part of Zapotec life as it is in much of Oaxaca.  I remember when oaxaqueños would visit me in Boston, they would always present me with mezcal, tlayudas and chocolate.  So it is a part of formal rituals and presentations.... plus it tastes real good.  Oaxacan chocolate is different, more grainy and flavored differently, but still every bit as delicious as anywhere.

And as they say, "there ain't nothin' like the real thing."  This post should be in Smellovision because the fragrance permeating the courtyard as these women ground the chocolate on matates was unbelieveable.

It becomes a super fine paste and then it is mixed with water and frothed.

All of this work is really hard.  It takes strength and stamina.

As it is beaten, the foam or espuma is taken off and then served.

 Here is the chocolate with atole and some tlayudas. Atole is a traditional masa based drink that comes in many forms.  This was sweet, but not too sweet.

Here is the formal presentation to Sergio and Virginia by the padrino.

The happy couple.... must be the chocolate.

Each couple receives a chest, the baul, and an armoire, both of which are filled with bread and chocolate.  Each person at the fiesta receives some bread and a beautiful piece of chocolate to take home.
Mmmmmm....this was my breakfast yesterday.


Judith Haden said...

What wonderful shots and how well they represent the village . It is indeed a very unique part of our planet. Makes me want to be there. And I can taste and smell the chocolate!

Anonymous said...

My favorite part of these photos is the community gathering to make the food and drink for the wedding. It looks like a lot of work but they all look so happy doing it. I love how they are facing each other as they work with their metates. There is a lot to learn from this.


sonya melescu said...

Beautiful images Chris. Nice talking to you.

Anonymous said...

Conozco los sabores y se lo que estas disfrutando Chris, mmmmm....delicioso ! Sandra