The government of Oaxaca has appointed Roma star Yalitza Aparicio as the festival’s ambassador to the world.
“We are very proud and thankful to Yalitza for accepting this invitation . . .” said Governor Alejandro Murat, “she loves Oaxaca immensely.”
Aparicio’s involvement in the festival was announced with a short clip in which she dons her traditional Mixtec huipil — a loose-fitting tunic — and invites the world to join her for the celebration.
As a traditional song plays in the background, the actress narrates the scenes: “My land, my people, vibrant with colors. Music, dance and tradition. A magical world full of joy.”
The Guelaguetza is a festival in which the indigenous peoples of Oaxaca come together and showcase their heritage and traditions in the form of intricate traditional garments, dances, music and food.
The word itself is of Zapotec origin, and has been interpreted to mean the “reciprocal exchanges of gifts and services.”
This exchange has broadened to include a large number of national and international tourists that are drawn to the capital of the state every year, all eager to witness what has been described as the largest ethnic festival in Latin America.
If the festival was to have a face, none other would be more appropriate than that of Aparicio, who went from being a schoolteacher in her hometown of Tlaxiaco to a representative not only of her Mixtec culture but of all indigenous women of Mexico after starring in the film Roma.
The governor also announced new tourist routes based on recent exposure that the state, its traditions and people have had on the silver screen. They will include one based on Pixar’s Coco and another focused on Aparicio and her home town.
Called The Yalitza Route, the tourism promotion campaign will also highlight prominent Tlaxiaco natives Lila Downs, singer and recording artist, and painter Rufino Tamayo.
The Guelaguetza, also called Lunes del Cerro (Mondays on the Hill), will take place this year on July 22 and 29, with countess cultural activities scheduled to take place during the intervening week in the city of Oaxaca and across the state.
Source: El Financiero (sp)