At eight and with a personality as big as his voice, Mauricio is the next Mexico’s Got Talent. For now, he’s rocking a gig at his parents’ taco stand in Teotitlán del Valle, singing and dancing after he takes your order. It was all part of the magic at the town’s week-long holy festival that culminated in a jaw-dropping fireworks show on Sunday.
Twelve Feather Dancers and a Virgin
December 12 was a big day in Oaxaca. First of all, it was Virgin of Guadalupe Day – the day marking the appearance of the Virgin Mary to indigenous peasant Juan Diego in 1531, a huge deal in this state of 16 different indigenous groups. But it was also one of the few annual presentations of the Danza de la Pluma (Dance of the Feathers) in Teotitlán del Valle.
Labor Day Culture Shock
I only saw the cut-off to Hugo when I pulled off at Durant to buy Rollos and a bottle of water, when I was nearly run down by an old guy in a monster pick-up with two freckle-faced kids eating ice cream in the front seat. I thought it looked like a quicker way to get to the Indian Nation Turnpike to Henryetta to a family reunion with cousins I hadn’t seen in nearly three decades.
The Far Side of Oaxaca
The parts that didn’t make the Christmas newsletter:
The Virgin of Guadalupe Festival, which rolled a street carnival, religious celebration and Christmas event all into one over-the-top happening. You could sing karaoke with Michael Jackson, get your picture taken with the Virgin and a donkey – but it was the Shrek Donkey (or with Santa Claus AND the Virgin), and eat a million kinds of fried junk food, ladled from huge vats of boiling oil that the throngs threatened to upend.