Guelaguetza: A Commitment to Sharing and Cooperation

The authentic cultural festival, Vive Oaxaca Guelaguetza in Santa Cruz, CA convened hundreds to honor the gods for sufficient rainfall and bountiful harvest. The state of Oaxaca in Mexico has a large indigenous population whose cultures remain strong on both sides of the border with celebrations like this.

Que no falte la nieve de leche quemada, las tlayudas, las memelas, el mole, los chapulines, el agua fresca de chilacayota y el tejate.

Guelaguetza is a word in the Zapotec language that means “a commitment of sharing and cooperation.” This year, the 11th annual Guelaguetza in Santa Cruz took place at Harbor High School. Vive Oaxaca Guelaguetza presented Senderos’ Centeotl Danza y Baile, as well as other visiting dance groups, and brought music by the renowned Banda de Viento of Centro de Integracion Social No. 8 de San Bartolomo, Zoogocho, Oaxaca, Mexico.

In Oaxaca, Mexico, Guelaguetza is celebrated in the month of July and is said to be the largest Fiesta Folklorica Indigena y Mestiza in the continent. The blend of culture before and after colonization is what is  seen in this celebration. Each year, more than fifty pueblos from seven regions in the Mexican state of Oaxaca unite in the City of Oaxaca for this celebration. Each region brings their particular dances and vestments that are representative of their lifestyle, history, and social life in their pueblo. Their outfits help distinguish where they are from through the specific embroidery – their bordados y tejidos. At the Guelaguetza, the groups also share their costumbres y tradiciones through the way they celebrate their weddings and baptisms, by way of their music and dances such as sones, chilenas, jarabes, malagueñas, and more.

Now in the US, the Guelaguetza celebration is an extension of the way it is celebrated in Mexico, but it is also a way to keep the unique culture of Oaxaca on this side of the border alive. Guelaguetza is a way to keep the roots of our shared history alive, to remember the significance for life that has been carried out for centuries.

The saturation of colors in the Guelaguetza is what makes this celebration visually joyful. The sounds of the banda playing, and the smells of the tlayudas and memelas atop a grill engage the senses and delightfully invite you to be a part of this celebration. The dancers live el orgullo por su cultura atop the stage, inviting any spectator to live the same joy and pride together.


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More info on the local 
San José Guelaguetza

About Rosa Angelica Castañeda

Rosa is passionate about youth advocacy and media, she is a creative artist and photojournalist residing in San Jose.

This article is part of the categories: Arts & Culture  / Community  / Photo 
This article is part of the tags: CA  / Cultura Oaxaqueña  / Guelaguetza  / Santa Cruz  / Vive Oaxaca  / Zapotec 


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