[ Zacatecas, Mexico ]
Hola amigos, y saludos de Zacatecas.
I am preparing to get back on the bike several days earlier than planned—hoping to make a nearly 900km push to the outskirts of Mexico City over the next month. The only extended stop I’ll have time for is in Guanajuato—another beautiful colonial city, and home to a some very famous mummies.
Speaking of mummies, last Tuesday’s Día de Muertos’ festivities were subdued—some say radically curtailed—for the second year in a row: yet another victim of the pandemic.
And yet it was a memorable event. The personal, foundational aspects of the holiday were still fully visible. Ofrendas (shrines/offerings) to friends and loved ones were everywhere: in restaurants, people’s homes, and on quiet street corners. My small hostel hosted one for the community, and neighbors turned out to share food and stories of lost comrades. On my morning bike-ride, I passed several families cleaning up the ubiquitous roadside monuments for people who lost their lives in traffic accidents. Local cemeteries were packed. The basilica held a special mass, with the crowd overflowing into the street.
Despite all the masks and hand gels and temperature checks at entryways, the loud, public side of the celebration still made an appearance. I had wandered into town for my favorite taqueria, and was surprised at the long line of decorated cars preparing to lead an impromptu parade; there were hundreds of folks crowding the sidewalks, and things were just getting started.
I was told over and over again that this was “nothing” compared to a normal year, yet to me there seemed a representative cross-section of costumes, music, dancing, inebriation, PDA, trick-or-treating families, performance groups, and skate-kids too cool for all of it (but determined to be seen nonetheless). I wandered around for a couple of hours pointing my camera at people, with mixed results.
Take care of yourselves,
Be kind to each other,
See you again soon!