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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Guanajuato - Virgin de Guadalupe

Prior to the concert at Gene Byron I'd struck up a conversation with a couple of gringos, Larry and his wife, Adele, from Davis, California. Somehow we hit it off and continued conversing after the concert, then rode the bus into town together and went for coffee at my favourite coffee place, Cafe Tal. The following evening they joined us at our place for tacos and more good conversation.

Larry a self employed computer guy and Adele an artist. Quite a good one, in fact. To say that Larry has an interest in the Virgin of Guadalupe would be an understatement. He has a catalogued collection of around 600 Virgin artefacts and I just got an email from him describing their participation in the Virgin of Guadalupe day, December 12 in Mexico City. It's one of the most important Mexican celebrations and is said to define the character of Mexico more than any other event. It begins at midnight of the 11th and lasts 24 hours. Some 2 million people make the procession to the Basillica of Guadalupe, the most visited catholic site in the world, and make a donation to the virgin. If you're interested, you can google her. Every town of every size in Mexico celebrates the day and Guanajuato is no exception. Without any real intention to participate, we went to the alleyway that led to the Church of Guadalupe to see what was going on, took some photos of kids dressed up for the event and started walking up the callejón.

Soon we were engulfed in a mass of people filling the alleyway from wall to wall, walking slowly up the hill to the church, vendors lining the way plying food and drink and gifts to donate.

The procession went on for what must have been at least a kilometre, a long way in this little town, until it reached the church where everyone slowly filed through the front, passed the Virgin, and filed out the back.

Despite this being a religious event, it had a carnival atmosphere and there were troops of dancers in what looked like Aztec garb, clowns, carnival rides, a band and lots of vendors.

We watched and took pictures for a long time until it was time to return home for dinner. The kids were so cute I couldn't resist shooting and shooting.

Interesting that I took predominantly photos of girls. Hmmmmm.......





















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