What is La Guelaguetza?

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.

Silvia Martinez
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