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, March 30, 2015

Palm Sunday in San Antonino - part 1 - Offerings

Domingo de Ramos is one of the best days of the year, especially if you are blessed to be in San Antonino Castillo Velasco or its other name, San Antonino de Flores.  This is a village in the broad flat valley between the mountain ranges.  There is good water there all though the year and wow, they can really grow things.  Everything from fruits and vegetables to flowers is just exceptional.  And Palm Sunday is the day everyone brings an offering.  Much of it is tied in place surrounding El Burro, the statue of Christ from the church in the zocalo.

This being a Zapotec area, the work is divided between men and women.  The men take the things to be placed and draped on the statue.  The women take the offerings and affix a price to each, for all will be carried in a procession to the church and then sold to raise money.
All I can say is that the system works.  It is a magical morning.  The sense of community is inspiring and energizing.  This is the way it is supposed to be.

There is so much to this celebration, I thought I would break it down into parts.  First, the offerings that people bring.  Fruits, vegetables, breads, goats, pigs, chiles, herbs, kitchen items, an amazingly wide assortment.  All of these are received by the abuelas and madres of the family responsible for organizing the event. No doubt, some sort of cargo, or assigned communal work, which I am sure is an honor.
Just look at this acelga, chard.
Or these cabbages.  Incredible.
San Antonino de Flores, for sure.
It was fun to watch this niño carry in this squash.
"Uh, here, doña."
These offerings keep coming for a couple of hours and some are attached to the statue, but the vast majority are collected and labeled. They fill up a large area next to the panteon's wall.  All waiting to be carried up to the church.  And of course, all the animals provide endless entertainment for kids and adults alike.
The day touches all the senses.  There was music and, because people had brought so many bundles of fresh herbs, the air was filled with the most powerful and wonderful fragrances. 
One thing, the red and green canopy overhead did a number all the shots under it, but who cares?  It was great.  One of the best days of the year.  Next, the procession.

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