What is La Guelaguetza?

by Silvia on July 13, 2011 · 7 comments

in Celebraciones / Celebrations, Viajes / Trips

Para español da click aquí.

Not everybody knows this about me, but I love to dance.  When I was a child I wanted to be a red-headed dancer.   When I was 6 or 7,  my family lived in Toluca, Mexico, and my mom used to take me to ballet folklórico classes and I loved it!  There was something magical about stomping my feet on the wooden floors; it was loud, it was rhythmic, it was fun!  It filled me with happy feelings.

This is me, performing an Aztec Dance.

Aztec Dance

Years later I tried classical ballet, Hawaiian, contemporary, but I always went back to folklórico, I loved the long, heavy dresses, the dance shoes, and the ribbons in my hair.
Oaxacan Store
So you can imagine my joy when, during a recent trip to Oaxaca, México, I had the rare opportunity to see La Guelaguetza, the colorful celebration of dance, music and culture unique to Oaxaca.

Guelaguetza dancers

My mother has told me about La Guelaguetza for years.

When she was young her grandmother invited her to visit Oaxaca and my mom never forgot the trip, she still dreams of visiting again one day.  Anyway, I’ve heard about it for so long it was like a dream for me to be there in the stunning Hotel Camino Real in Oaxaca, having pollo con mole (chicken with mole sauce), enjoying great company, and watching a special La Guelaguetza.

Girl dancing la Guelaguetza

July is the month of La Guelaguetza, every year, during this time, Oaxaca receives visitors with open arms who join the locals at a gathering in the Guelaguetza Auditorium to participate in the celebration where groups from the following eight Oaxaca regions come and share their music and dance:

  • Los Valles Centrales
  • La Sierra Juárez (norte)
  • La Cañada
  • Tuxtepec
  • La Mixteca
  • La Costa
  • La Sierra Sur
  • El Istmo de Tehuantepec.

Danza de la Plaza

This year the Guelaguetza shows are on July 25th and August 1st, if you would like to know more about them, please click here.

Oaxaca at night

Oaxaca is a wonderful melting pot of cultures, languages, and food… it is really a magical place.  If you are thinking about visiting Mexico, please consider adding Oaxaca to your list.  This small, beautiful, quiet, place offers something for every member of your family.

Daytime in Oaxaca

Also, I invite you to check out the post about Monte Albán, an amazing archeological site in Oaxaca, written by my friend Ana from SpanglishBaby.

Finally I can’t resist sharing this video with you created by Alfredo Castellanos, enjoy!

Disclosure:  I´m being compensated for my work in creating content for the México Today Program.  I was also invited to an all-expenses paid trip to Oaxaca as part of my role.  All stories, opinions and passion for all things México shared here are completely my own.

Mexico Today is an iniciative of Marca País – Imagen de México, a joint public and private sector initiative designed to help promote Mexico as a global business partner and an unrivaled tourist destination. This program is designed to shine a light on the Mexico that its people experience every day.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

July 13, 2011 at 12:36 pm Ana L. Flores 1

AMÉ este post, Silvia!!
Las fotos están espectaculares and I loved seeing the one with you all dressed up. Bella!

I really do hope to one day make it back to Oaxaca during La Guelagetza and catch it in all its splendor. Vamos!


July 13, 2011 at 1:22 pm Silvia 2

Gracias amiga. It took me a while but i found that picture of me, unfortunately I just have a few pics of me performing. It was a very happy time in my life.

Yes! I want to go back and I want to take my family, I know my husband would love Oaxaca and I can see my kids being totally in awe looking at the pyramids of Monte Albán

July 13, 2011 at 12:49 pm Laura 3

Wow! Silvia that photo of you is great! I see the Aztec dancers all the time here in Mexico City and I actually kind of want to take lessons. 😉

Your photos from Oaxaca came out really nice!


July 13, 2011 at 1:20 pm Silvia 4

I really enjoyed that Aztec Dance, it was a first to me as well, it wasn’t that hard to learn! you should try it one day!

July 14, 2011 at 11:07 am Li 5

Wow it looks AMAZING! So beautiful. I love Mexico.. the culture, the food, the music… love it!



July 22, 2011 at 7:41 am Mellisa ~ Fun Saving Money 6

Beautiful Pictures and such a great post!


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