"The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes." ~Marcel Proust

19 septiembre 2011

Comida, Concheros, Cuetes, y más

Last week was all about food, concheros, fireworks, and more...all leading up to the 16th or Mexican Independence Day (Another post coming!) So basically this whole last week was one giant party! We hardly had any school, but when we did, we were learning about things that we were going to walk outside and get to see firsthand--So cool! The beginning of my week included a cooking class where we made chalupas, guacamole, and salsa. We went to some guy's house with a sweet semi-outdoor kitchen, learned to make some delicious food, then ate it all.

Concheros. The Concheros are dancers that participate in various festivals and come from far and wide to do so. Their dance is indigenous but most of them are Catholic and use it as a form of worship to honor various saints. The dancers, young and old, fill the streets and participate day and night. Just add some extremely elaborate indigenous costumes, hundreds of loud drums and other instruments, church bells ringing at all hours of the day, close down a bunch of streets for 4 days, bring it all to a close with an incredible fireworks display, and you have the festival that took place at the Templo de la Cruz down in the Centro this week. Hope the pics give you just a taste!
Templo de la Cruz

 After watching the Concheros for a long time, I split off from the people in our group to go and do a few mini interviews with some of the dancers (hw assignment!) I then went and sat down at a street food vendor to buy a buñuelo because my Señora told me I needed to try it! It is a delicious desert-like item served with a hot cup of Atole. I struck up a conversation with a guy next to me and he ended up buying my dessert! His generosity did not stop there. He continued to share his knowledge about the festival and would answer any questions I had. He looked at his watch and told me to follow him to the church. "¡Ya es hora para el castillo!" he said as he pointed to the giant structure I had been curious about for the last 3 days. Let me put it this way. The castillo is just a giant structure loaded with moving parts and fireworks (which propel various sections bringing the whole thing to life!). They set the thing off in sections and it is an incredible sight. The crowd is way too close but that doesn't matter! 20-30 minutes later the last of it is ignited. The very top starts spinning faster and faster until it lifts off and shoots into the sky like a normal firework. A whole separate fireworks display behind us (atop the church) followed immediately and then concluded the night. Speechless. Let's just say Mexicans have a very different definition of the word "festival."

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