So, six gringas went to fiesta in Sahuayo……it sounds like the beginning of a joke; right? But there really is no punchline, although I’m sure that my faithful readers can come up with one and somehow I think it’s gonna involve Crocs! However, we really DID go to Sahuayo, Michoacan, for the Tlahualiles parade and I think we really were the only six gringas there. Certainly we were the largest group of white folks to be seen! [Fifth gringa Jonnie took the photo above and that’s my friend, Kathi, on the right. The three of us have attended the Tlahualiles/Santiago patronales before, but this year we took three newbies with us. That’s Phyllis, second from right, and Susanne next to Phyllis.]
And, yes, that’s me, your author, over there on the left side just totally ignoring everyone else. I really must learn to play well with others. For heaven’s sake, I’m almost 65 years old and I STILL can’t do it! Our sixth gringa, Pat, was a bit under the weather that night and so missed out on the parade that most of us all eventually missed out on. [You can see Pat’s lonely blue chair there between Susanne and me. Kathi, Jonnie, and I have learned to cart our own chairs with us to this parade since it literally goes on for hours, and we let our friends in on that little secret before we left Joco.]
Unfortunately, this lovely seating arrangement for the night parade got totally knocked out by the rains later in the evening. However, earlier in the day we had seen a spectacular parade! This was my third Tlahualiles parade and I swear every year it just gets better. We see the same groups, pretty much representing the same barrios, but the procession also adds even more groups from more barrios, and the headdresses are more impressive every year.
Why we don’t see more gringos from the Lake Chapala area there, I can’t understand. Sahuayo is a lovely city only a very easy couple of hours drive from the Lake. But, in the meantime, the six of us were thrilled to be there and to be staying in our favorite hotel, which is located just a block or so from all the action. Check it out! http://www.hotelmargaritassahuayomichoacan.com/nuevo/home.html
A local policeman told my friend Phyllis that this year there were 86 groups and about 1,000 participants in the parade. Now, he may have been exaggerating a bit, but there really were a lot of groups and a lot of participants. And if the evening parade had not been rained out, I think we would have seen a lot more.
But here’s some of what we DID see in Sahuayo that day! I’ll give you a front and back view of the headdresses of the groups when I can. Please note the detail and symbolism represented on each headdress. Here we go and hope you are up for a lot of photos!
Grupo Domingo Savio:
Grupo Pedregal, including small marchers [kids in the groups start participating in the parade between the ages of two and three, depending on their ability to handle the headdress and to go the distance]:
Grupo San Jose:
Grupo Yerba Buena (Note: some of the kids in this group were so small that their headdresses only contained the word “Yerba”. Their headdresses weren’t large enough to contain both words!):
Grupo Granados (5 Generaciones):
Grupo Colon (Quit snickering! That would be Columbus in English.)
Grupo DV [I’m not sure if DV are the initials for something or if it means 505 in roman numerals. In MY mind, it stands for Death Valley, where I used to work. But I doubt that’s what it stands for in Sahuayo, although they ARE wearing shorts!]:
Grupo Ninos Heroes:
Grupo Cristo Rey:
Okay, you’ve obviously gotten the idea. I’ll leave you with some pix of my favorite group this year, as well as a link to my Picasa page where there are even more photos if you’ve a need/desire to look!
Here are my favorite headdresses this year, from Grupo Tepeyac: