Last year was the first year I was here during Guelaguetza, the cultural festival that takes the city by storm for the last two weeks of July. Even though I’ve lived in Oaxaca for more than four years, I’m usually gone when it’s going on. By this July, I’d moved from living under the white auditorium so close that the sounds broke through closed doors and windows, and the fireworks left debris on my terrace.

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