Saliendo de Veracruz

What a week!

ıQue semana!

Last night we stayed with Don Andrés Vega in Boca de San Miguel. It was quick stay, we were so fortunate to spend a few hours with him chatting, eating, and playing together.

Anoche nos quedamos con Don Andrés Vega en Boca de San Miguel. Fue una visita rápida, que gran fortuna pasar unas horas conviviendo, platicando y tocando juntos.

Don Andrés is a wonderful man who enjoys music, his home and the land. He´s been on the same land since 1950 from what I understand.

Don Andrés disfruta de la música, su hogar y el campo. El vive en su rancho desde 1950.

He and is wife and his children treated us with such warmth.

El y su esposa Dońa Hermelinda nos trataron con mucho carińo.

We are planning to come back to Veracruz in December to Santiago Tuxla for the celebrations that happen around Christmas.

En diciembre volveremos a Santiago Tuxtla, Veracruz para las celebraciones decembrinas.

Here are some tid bits from our week in Veracruz

Aquí les dejamos mas detalles sobre nuestra semana en Veracruz

Sunday, July 29…….. swam in the ocean, it felt warm and wonderful. We also saw the movie Valiente(Brave)……I love coming to Mexico and watching movies in Spanish, my spanish gets better each trip we make

Domingo, julio 29….. nadamos en el mar, se sentía muy cálido y hermoso. También vimos la película Valiente…… Me encanta venir a México y ver películas en espańol, mi espańol mejora cada viaje que hacemos

Monday, July 30…………..we began our workhops. We particpated in what was called “Talleres Vivenciales de Son Jarocho Sanandrescano.” The week was organized by Joel Cruz Castellanos, Aldo Flores y Andres Moreno. I took violín with Ignacio Bustamente. I had so much fun getting to know Don Nacho. The last couple times we´ve come to take workshops, I´ve begun to learn to take it slow. I´m not it such a hurry to learn everthing right away. We spent several weeks in Veracruz four years ago and it was then that I wanted to learn how the elders played violín in Los Tuxlas. It´s funny though, I think this time my ears and my heart were ready to receive the sounds, spirit and feelings of the music this time. I could feel a little window opening in myself….I´m on a long musical journey in my life, I like to take my time, I don´t like playing at home by myself and I think I´m finally okay with that. I look forward to many more windows opening…I´m so glad that Yahvi wanted us to start out Luna de Miel in Veracruz and that we can share our musical journeys together

Monday night we went to Texcaltitan for a huapango, Aldo took a couple of us who were studying violín to pick up Don Sabino Toto, a violinst who I belive is in his late 70s or early 80s. We drove up to his house in Xoteapan and basically asked him to come play with us, he put on his guayabera, grabbed his handmade violín and bow and jumped in the front seat with todo gusto…..he didn´t even need a case, he just held the bow and violín in his lap and was ready

A note about my friend Aldo, he´s one of my new favorite people, I only saw him wearing shoes once…… he´s my hero!

Tuesday, July 31…… in the evening we went to Salto de Eyipantla, we had a huapango next to a beautiful waterfall, lit by the light of the moon. we were able to breathe easy there

Wednesday, August 1,…….. we took a taxi to Santiago Tuxla to meet Alejandro Fernandez Ataxca…. Francisco Gonzalez sent us with some strings to pass on to Alejandro. His mother, Maria Isabel made us a wonderful lunch of chicharrón en salsa roja. Alejandro is a laudero, he makes jaranas and requintos. His family owns a carpenteria, his great grandfather was a carpenter, his grandfather and dad and uncle are carpenters. Alejandro began learning to make instruments 8 years ago. His grandfather also makes instruments although he doesn´t play. Alejandro showed us the jarana that his grandfather made for him when he was a kid

Thursday, August 2, OUR 1 WEEK ANNIVERSARIO…..or SEMANARIO…..Andres B. Moreno Najera gave us a wonderful a wonderful talk on zapateado. I was inspired by what he said. Something that I took away from his talk is that people go to the fandangos to enjoy themselves and that there are so many variations in dance from on pueblo to the next. It´s hard to say definitely what is right or wrong. The dancers main job is to complement the music, the rhythm……. it doesnt matter if you´re a good dancer or a good singer, or whether you have good shoes….. everyone is there to be together and have a good time and to complement that music. Andres is the director of the Casa de Cultura in San Andres Tuxtla….. he is a súper knowledgable man who dedicates himself to the continance of culture and tradition in his town. Everyday we were there there were kids and teens taking classes in music, dance and art. Andres also teaches physics and biology from what I understand.

Friday, August 3……….Have I said how beautiful Veracruz is…….At this time of year it´s so green! The grass grows taller than us. In the evening we went to Apixita, hometown of Patricio Hidalgo. We went early in the day and passed the time with los viejitos playing son. Several groups played, Grupo de Laurel, Los Baxin, La Yerba Buena, and Afrojarocho. Patricio and Fernando Guadarrama did what is called Contrapunteo. This is how I would describe it, the band was playing in the background while Patricio Guadarrama improvised spoken versos back and forth. Seeing them do this was the most beautiful part of the week for me. I was brought to tears. They listened to each other and the people in the town with such depth, they acknowledged the older women who had come to the town, people came from 4 or 5 towns to be there…. They spoke about what was happening in that moment with such great poetry, I’ll never forget it

Saturday, August 4…………….. We spent the day with Alejandro and his family while Alejandro finished making a jarana for our friend Marlene…… In the evening we visited the Vega family

Sunday, August 5…………. We took a bus to el puerto de Veracruz, flew to Monterrey and then arrived in Saltillo. We are spending time with Yahvi’s cousin Abel, his wife Lucia, and their children Lucy, Abby and Abel. We are going to spend some time with Yahvi’s great Uncle Abel tomorrow to play music I think….. We ate chilacas Last night which I was so excited about! We were here four years ago when Abel and Lucia made them for us….. Chilacas are Green chiles grown in the area stuffed with chihuahua cheese…. Spicy and yummy!

We love you!

María y Yahvi





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