Guelaguetza arrives in San Marcos
Oaxaca’s annual festival is expected to have over four thousand attendees this year
SAN MARCOS – To the delight of thousands of Oaxacans living in San Diego County and followers of indigenous traditions, «Guelaguetza 2009» is here for its fourteenth year. The ultimate expression of the living cultural and artistic brotherhood of the Oaxacan community, Guelaguetza is undoubtedly one of the most important traditions with a well established presence in this county.
As it does every year, California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) opens its doors to the colorful family celebration, which will be held this Sunday, 11th of October from 11 AM to 5 PM.
This year, La Guelaguetza features folkloric dances, musical representation from all regions in Oaxaca, as well as traditional food and crafts.
“The Coalition of Indigenous Communities of Oaxaca (COCIO) together with Oaxaca Student Organization (OSO) will organize our celebration to delight all our brothers,” general coordinator of COCIO Valentin Ramirez, said.
Event organizers said they expect more than four thousand visitors who all will have the opportunity to enjoy the cultural and artistic traditions of Oaxaca.
According to OSO students this event celebrates Oaxaca’s culture and they are inviting the entire community to get to know its rich traditions.
“We want all people to enjoy with us, we like to teach the riches of our earth from the sun, this is an opportunity to carry out this goal,” OSO’s founder Yesenia Diaz, said.
In order to organize this event, the indigenous communities COCIO as well OSO students held different activities during the entire year to fundraise enough money to be able to organize this great festival.
“All our members have worked hard to represent their dances, music, and bring their food and crafts. This event is not for profit but for people to enjoy it as if we were in our motherland,” Ramirez added.
According to the organizer about two thousand people are members of COCIO and most of them have been actively planning and organizing this event. Each year it exceeds expectations despite the difficulties of cost and its implementation.
In addition, OSO students recruit 41 volunteers among COCIO members to help during the event.
“The majority of the volunteers are college students and they have never been to or attended a Guelaguetza event; however, they are very happy to have the chance to help, because they are eager to learn more about our culture,” Yesenia Diaz said.
Diaz explained that OSO members got involved with Guelaguetza in 2006. She added that for the university students this event is important because this celebration allows them to show pride in their roots. Members of Oaxacan community are close and show solidarity.
“Guelaguetza is a Zapotec word which means ‘to help each other with the constraints that every individual alone can not cope with’. This is an event where the eight regions of Oaxaca are united, and people show brotherhood and support for each other. We are proud of this and we want to show it here”, Yesenia explained.
According to the organizers, the featured events of the program vary and will include representation of all indigenous communities and groups that are supporting this event.
The communities are: Agua Blanca Tlapacoyan, Ayoquezco de Aldama, los Rubios, El Trapiche, Ixpantepec Nieves, San Pedro El Rincón, Grupo Folklórico Zaachila, los Diablos Tecomastlahuaca, Natividad and Pitao. Plus, Los Triques from Ensenada.
Different activities feature a live band to play throughout the entire event. The dances represent all of Oaxaca’s regions such as: Cierra, Cañada, Mixteca, Valles Centrales, Jarabe Ejecutero, Danza de la Pluma, Danza de los Diablos, Tonalte y Flor de Piña.
The event will take place at the Cal State University San Marcos’s low fields located at 333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Road. The entrance fee is six dollars, and children under 10 enter free. For more information call the event coordinator at 619-251-0404 or visit www.cocio.org.