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Tri-Color Times

an open forum for student expression

Tri-Color Times

an open forum for student expression

Tri-Color Times

Patron Saint festival adds magical touch to San Juan visit


IT’S ODD trying to get used to other people’s daily lifestyle. I went on a trip to Mexico to visit my grandma and spend time with my family for two weeks. When I first bought the ticket, two weeks sounded like forever.

The first place we decided to visit was Mexico City, mainly to visit the culture center which in Spanish is called, Palacio de Bellas Artes. One thing I noticed on my way there, though, was that Mexico City was VERY chaotic.

Everyone drives like there are no rules: many do not use their signals, people cut each other off on the road, mopeds cut through cars without any worry of getting hit, people come up to your car to try to sell things, and people J-walk everywhere.

Besides how chaotic it is, I love the culture and how talkative and confident people are. There were many vendors selling items varying from food, drinks, pins, clothing, and souvenirs. On the sidewalks, there were also many performances. There were comedians, break-dancers, painters, singers, and bands. It felt very welcoming seeing people shopping, participating in performances, dancing, singing along, and overall enjoying themselves.

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As we explored the cultural center with the most beautiful architecture I had ever seen, there were many things in the exhibition. There were photos taken by many photographers, plastic arts, and many murals made by Mexican painters: Diego Rivera, José Clemente, David Alfaro Siqueiros etc. You can also watch some amazing cultural performances.

After exploring, we went to visit my aunt’s fruit and vegetable stand. I noticed that in Mexico, having a stand on the side of the street is a lot more common. A lot of people make a living out of it. People sell any type of foods: burgers, tacos, quesadillas, chips with hot sauce, corn, ice cream, birria, tortillas, fruits, vegetables, etc. It’s cool because people seem to have more freedom to make a living on their own anywhere there.

My aunt has been selling fruits and vegetables at the same spot for years now. She has her own clientele and people come and go. A lot of people walk instead of driving because it’s more convenient since everything is so close by. If they are missing anything, they stop by instead of going to a grocery store. When I saw my aunt working, she seemed to enjoy it, even though it gets busy sometimes. A lot of her clientele respects her and even stay to chit-chat.

Visiting Mexico City was fun and interesting. The next place we decided to visit for most of our trip was my grandma’s house in San Juan de Dios, Los Reyes Michoacan, which is where my mom grew up. I love staying in San Juan because it’s so much fun. I feel like everything is so much calmer there, and everyone treats you like family.

When we arrived, it was the first day of an annual event that the small town does to celebrate their patron saint. The event lasts a whole week Monday-Sunday. They decorate the town’s streets by hanging up beautifully made banners. Many food vendors from the town come out to sell food so people can go and support them.

There are also many rides and small games so kids can enjoy. There are small rides like the pirate ship, swings, trampolines etc. What’s scary is that I got on the small pirate ship, and it was being controlled by a kid. Also, instead of having buttons to control it, it had a handle to pull on as well.

The event consists of many performances such as: folkloric dances, The dance of the little old men, Mexican cheer team performances, Zumba performances, singing performances, Banda and Mariachi. Not only do they have performances throughout the week, but they also have sports tournaments going on competing with many other towns. They had a basketball tournament and a volleyball tournament.

On Saturday they have more Banda for people to enjoy and dance to until late at night, and then at 5:30 am, on Sunday, they have Mariachi to sing the Mexican Birthday song to the patron saint. Some people don’t sleep and stay up at the event until it’s 5:30 a.m. to hear the Mariachi.

To honor the Patron saint, the Mariachi and anyone from town who wants to, go on a walk throughout the town until the sun rises. The tradition is beautiful, and they even have fireworks going off every few minutes throughout the walk. On Sunday night, to finally finalize the event for the year, they set fireworks off and have someone run with a bull figure which they call “El Toro,” and run around while small fireworks are going off.

My trip was surprisingly fun for me this time around. I feel like my trip made me realize how the people are so welcoming, and they have so much pride for their towns and culture. Everyone seems to know each other and if they didn’t, they still talk to you as if they’ve known you for a long time. People seem so free to do anything. I saw so much happiness in people’s faces. Many people there don’t have so much, but they are happy with what they have.

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