Monday, November 7, 2011

La Semana Pasada

Hello dear friends!  It has been too long.

I have had the busiest week yet here in Mexico, so please forgive me for not getting this update to you sooner.  I had a fantastic time at the events for Day(s) of the Dead.  Here are a few things that happened...

Day 1:  October 28th

We began to reset the altar for Day of the Dead.  This involves a variety of specific items that are part of the holiday's tradition.  Incense, specific flowers, bread of the dead, clay cooking pots,skulls, glasses of water, maize, tequila, uncooked beans, mole, candies, a picture of the person who died and any other food they enjoyed, and of course lots of candles. 

We also added "bodies" filled with oranges and drawings by children who came to color in the zocalo.  I think this tradition is amazing and is a really neat way to honor friends and family who have died.  Here is a picture of the finished alter of Red x la Paz.

Day 2:  October 31

La Red x la Paz y Justica had a night of festivities --singing and poetry in the zocalo-- on this Halloween night.  It was fun.  Musicians from the movement came and sang songs both happy and sad.  One artist in particular, Churro, played a harmonica and a guitar while singing the funniest songs ever.  Seriously, I dare anyone to listen to it and not tap your foot and smile.  I didn't understand all the words, but the expression of them was hilarious.  Another couple sang songs that were a little more heavy, and yet another young lady read poetry about the war.  The crowd that came seemed to enjoy the performances. 

During this time, we invited everyone who had lost someone --either to violence or in the recent past-- to bring an offering to the altar in the zocalo.  We let children color pictures and left them there as part of the offering.  It was an interesting experience to see people bring bread, flowers, a candle to the altar and leave it in memory of their dead.  It reminded me that we are all in this together, we each feel the pang of loss.  It reminded me of Francisco, who had his own cross in this altar.

Day 3:  November 1st

This was the big day!  The march for peace.  Around 300 people gathered at the Paloma de la Paz and prepared themselves to march through the streets of Cuernavaca to the zocalo.  The fact that people took the time out of their day --a national holiday where you spend all day with family-- to participate in this march should tell how important this movement is to them.  The distance was fairly long, but people stuck it out.  They arrived in the zocalo about 2 hours after they began.  The march was greeted with the faces of those waiting in the zocalo.  Those who were simply there to see the altars and participate in the various market events were surprised to see such a huge group walking into the central square.  But it was certainly a sight. 

Following the march, there was a small theatre production.  It was pretty avant-guarde but was fascinating to watch.  The crowd dispersed soon after and people went back to their families.  The march was a success.

I hope you enjoyed this brief post!  I will try to get some more pictures and stories up from the rest of the week as well. 

Blessings for now!  Hope your Halloween was Spooktacular!  :P

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