By Debra Gallegos for Latin Life Denver Media
Hi everyone, I’m Debra Gallegos writing to update you on my trip to Mexico (Guadalajara and Mexico). I am traveling with a group sponsored by the National Performance Network/Visual Arts Network, (NPN/VAN) that are arts organizations from across the country including Su Teatro Cultural & Performing Arts Center, which I am representing.
The purpose of our trip is to re-establish relationships and forge new ones with artists and arts organizations in Mexico. NPN’s /VAN’s International Program is based on core values of partnership, equity, and leadership development, and rooted in the belief that engagement with others outside our boundaries – whether political, geographic, national, aesthetic, or otherwise – is critical to building our empathy for others, our understanding of ourselves, and a more just world. We’re especially excited about talking with artists that share our vision of a social justice.
On Wednesday, October 11, 2017, I Traveled to Guadalajara by air and checked into our lovely hotel, Demetria Bungalows in Guadalajara. We’re staying here for two days before traveling by bus to Guanajuato to attend the Festival Cervantino…a well-established theatre and arts festival beginning in 1953 (the year I was born!).
We had a, group dinner at Sacromonte, a wonderful restaurant suggested by one of our companeros, Edgar Miramontes from REDCAT, an LA Performing Art Center. Food, drinks, conversation and friendship ensued. I had an outstanding Chicken Mole dish, just the way I like it…dark, sweet, tangy and delicious…the dish was served beautifully and it was a special treat to have fresh hand made torillas de maiz! Our dinner ended with shots of Tequila (Tierra Noble) which were just what I needed!
Our next stop was Tonala where we treated to a late night private concert by Totome. The musicians, all in their 20s, learned to play and create their own indigenous instruments from their fathers and elders.
Their instruments ranged from Flutes (reed and clay), conch shells (various sizes for different tones and keys), rain sticks, shakers, voice, keyboard, and laptop computer. Their musical mix is a fusion of traditional indigenous music and their own unique style and sound. Perhaps they’ll visit Denver in the future…hope you don’t miss them!