Tlahualiles, Sahuayo, July 2012

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!

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 Guerrero:

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 Sandoval:

Grupo San Jose:

Grupo Zaragoza:

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 Quetzal:

Grupo Granados (5 Generaciones):

Grupo Colon (Quit snickering!  That would be Columbus in English.)

Grupo Hernandez:

Grupo Esperanza:

Grupo Montelongo:

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:


About Barbara

in april of 2008, i moved from the united states to mexico. during my working days, i held lots and lots of jobs....almost all chosen because they were fun or interesting instead of how much they paid. when i started thinking about retirement (in my 40s), i realized that i would never be able to retire to a country where english was the native language. and although i had traveled to every state in the US -- and lived in lots of them -- i had never been outside the country with the exception of canada and mexico. and since you now know that i could never afford to retire in canada (even to the french-speaking area), mexico won by default.
This entry was posted in Fiestas, Fun Stuff, Getting Older, Lake Chapala, Travel and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Tlahualiles, Sahuayo, July 2012

  1. Dominique says:

    Love the colors!! They are so bright!!!!!

  2. Christina says:

    I am half German and half Mexican, my father is from Sahyuao and I have been there more times than I can count and never saw an White person there other than my mother, awesome that you ladies went there, hope it was a blast.

    • Barbara says:

      Christina, we always have a lot of fun in Sahuayo! This July was my third year at the Tlahualiles parade/patronales and, you’re right, the group that I’m with are the only gringos I ever see. They just don’t know what they’re missing.

      I see you are at Southern Illinois (Go Salukis!). I went to college at Indiana University in Bloomington so I know your part of the country pretty well. But I sure like it better here in Mexico!

      Thanks for writing.


  3. Rebeca says:

    I glad that you ladies enjoyed the fiestas I’m from Sahuayo I was always going every year but this year I missed out because I went to labor the only thing is I never seen white people in Sahuayo how did you ladies enjoy your stay there… Arriba Sahuayo !!

    • Barbara says:

      You are right, Beca! There are not many of us gringos wandering around Sahuayo at any time, even during fiestas. This was my third year attending the Tlahualiles parade, so you know that i love it! Last year, some of my friends and i went to the Mexican independence day celebration in Sahuayo as well. Again, only white folks there.

      I have loved every stay and, in fact, in the next couple of days i am taking a newly-arrived gringa to Sahuayo for carnitas and shopping.

      I see from your email address that you now live in (or have recently lived in) Zamora. Another city I love….especially the catedral inconclusa! i have a couple of blog posts about Zamora, too, if you are interested.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!


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