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

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Children of the Guelaguetza

This has really been a spectacular week thus far.  I would venture a guess that it is the best Guelaguezta in years.  It might have something to do with having a new governor in place with a new administraion in charge of managing things.... but what do I know.
I do know that it is a photographer's dream and they were out in full force yesterday for the desfile or parade.  I showed up early at the plaza where all the delegations of dancers assembled.  It turned into a great fiesta with music and dancing everywhere you looked, a grand cacophony of sights and sounds.  I have plenty of new shots and video, but I thought I would start with some of the kids involved in the celebration.

Getting ready.

Not too cute.

Barbie was in attendance with her friend from the Cañada region if my eye for hupiles is getting better.

Even the spectators were decked out.
Not everyone was in the parade, but they were still having fun.

Dancing in the streets.

An abundance of pride and beauty.

These children insure that the guelaguetza will continue for many years.

 ¡Viva Oaxaca!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Lasers on the Cathedral

Here is the laser show that was projected against the cathedral in the zocalo several times every night this week.  It was really beautiful and used the architecture of the building very effectively.  Plus, it was sooo cool, full of all the things that make Oaxaca special.
Part One

Part Two

Thursday, July 28, 2011

More Guelaguetza.....

It is really a fabulous week to be in Oaxaca and the place is really hoppin'.  Some more shots of the participants.  The delegation from Tlahuitoltepec.

The Flor de Pina dancers from Tuxtepec, a force to be dealt with, coming

or going.

La Costa represents.

So many wonderful faces.

And more to come shortly.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Dancing in the Streets - Guelaguetza. 2011

A short clip of the festivities from the opening desfile or parade.  Upload speed is too slow for videos, but I am finding work-arounds.  Party on!

The Guelaguetza - Differences

Remember those shots of Malinche and Doña Marina from Teotitlan del Valle a couple of weeks ago?  Well, obviously, there are many versions of the two, as many as there are villages dancing.  Here are the ones from the parade on the weekend.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Guelaguetza Guide

This is very good for learning and identifying the different regions from
Click to embiggen.

The Guelaguetza - It's on!

This is one of the best weeks to be in Oaxaca.  The Guelaguetza is in full swing with dancing in the streets in many of the cities and villages.  For more info here is the main page for the events.
Dancers come from every region of the state dressed in their traditional outfits.  It is simply spectacular, an overflow of pride and happiness.  

After getting a flat tire and getting stopped by impromptu parades, I made it into the city and rushed to find the opening desfile or parade, which no matter what the official starting time and place is always different.  The route this year went straight down the pedestrian walk, Alcala, which was lined with thousands of spectators. 

The music is wonderful and one finds oneself moving to the rhythms.  One of the most moving aspects of the parade is when a particular regional group goes by and there is a spontaneous outpouring of applause and affection.  There is no competition, only love and pride.

Needless to say, I have a few shots and will post them through the two weeks of celebration, but it is an ongoing event so it will be hard to keep up.  You should be here yourself.  What were you thinking?

I love the faces of the people involved. 
The two kids from Tlahuitoltepec are perfect examples.

As a former music teacher, I always have a soft spot for girls playing drums.  The world needs more of them.

The crowd following the parade down to the zocalo.

Oh, there are also hundreds of beautiful women, all ready for the camera.  It's a tough job, but.....

More as the week progresses.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Feria de Queso - Cheese Fair - Reyes

Sometimes you have to go the extra mile or kilometer.  There is a feria de queso y quesillo in nearby Reyes Etla.  I have driven down the road that leads to it many times, but never that extra mile.  After reading about this feria, I was determined to find it.  After all, Etla is the home of the best cheese in Oaxaca and Reyes is the official "World Capital of Queso and Quesillo" and it has the plaque
and a statue to prove it. Yes, she is holding a nice big ball of quesillo.

I turned left at the banner and drove across fields.  I could see the church and the feria in the distance.

As I approached, I was struck by the beauty of the location, really out in the middle of nowhere. 

The crowd was very small, but I was early in the event.  There were about ten stalls set up, each with samples of their cheeses. 
These women from "Cremeria Mary" had the best queso fresco, so rich and tasty, but in truth I did not taste everyone's.
Because of the write-up, it looked like it was going to be a hit.  Kids from the city were there and I am sure shots ended up on Facebook.

As I was leaving I walked back to the church and looked out across an unexpected panoramic view of the mountains and incredibly lush and verdant valleys. 

Wow, what a view.
I am headed back today or tomorrow, now that I know what lies out there after going the extra kilometer.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Teotitlan del Valle - The Little Soldier

This little guy got lots of attention and it is easy to see why... too damn cute.

One of the sweetest moments of the week was when he started to cry and ran to his father who was of the dancers.  Of course, because he was one of Cortez's soldiers, this was a no-no, can't fraternize with the enemy, so to speak.  So one of the campos, who are in charge of protocol, came out and comforted the boy. 
It seemed to work because this was a minute later.

He looked much happier a few minutes later. 

A detail from his hat.