About 25 U.S.-born children of Oaxaca descent danced on the steps of Los Angeles’ City Hall recently to call attention to the 26th annual Guelaguetza ORO Festival taking place this weekend.
For the first time in many years, juvenile Guelaguetza, featuring over 200 child performers, will take part in the festivities that date back 26 years in Los Angeles.
“With much effort and care we reinitiate the juvenile Guelaguetza to ensure that the future of our traditions continue to live,” explains Mauro Hernandez, president of the Regional Organization of Oaxaca (O.R.O. in Spanish).
The ancient and diverse dances from the Mexican state of Oaxaca represent several indigenous communities, each with its own cultural traditions, but according to Oaxacan activist and festival promoter Martha Ugarte, Guelaguetza is not just a dance, the celebration is much deeper.
The word Guelaguetza comes from the Zapotec word “Guendalizaa,” which means “an attitude or quality with which one is born: a feeling of acceptance, service, cooperation and love for your neighbor; it is the feeling of kinship, brotherhood and solidarity,” according to Ugarte, who says all of those elements will be part of the festival taking place Saturday and Sunday at Lincoln Park from noon to 8:00 p.m.
Ugarte said more than 200 children, ages 1 to 12, and 300 adults will perform at the celebration that will also include artisans demonstrations, food and craft vendors.
Lincoln Park is located at 3501 Valley Blvd., Los Angeles, (Lincoln Heights) 90031. Admission and parking is free.
More information is available at www.guelaguetzaoro.com