Every summer at the end of July, indigenous groups in the Mexican state of Oaxaca gather together to celebrate La Guelaguetza—a “mutual offering” of traditional music, dance, crafts, and food. The world-famous festival is an annual celebration of community and cultural diversity in Oaxaca, with origins in earth-based religious ceremonies predating the arrival of the Spanish. Since 2009, the Grupo Folclórico de Poughkeepsie (GFP) has promoted and preserved Mexican culture in the Hudson Valley with its own La Guelaguetza festival. Offering traditional dance performances, music from indigenous marching bands, and an array of festive food vendors, the event has become a local favorite.
This summer, GFP hosts another special event: “Vive La Guelaguetza: An Encounter with Oaxaca,” a colorful, vibrant exhibit commemorating the Oaxacan festival. The exhibit will feature original photographs of the state of Oaxaca and its festival, additional photos of the local festival at Waryas Park from past years, and beautiful paintings by Mexican-American artist Miguel Angel Mendoza. Visitors will also have a first-time opportunity to admire a series of authentic traditional dance costumes from Oaxaca.
GFP’s exhibit will open on Saturday, June 21 at the Mid-Hudson Heritage Center in Poughkeepsie, with a reception from 5-7pm that is free and open to the public. The series will remain on display until its closing reception on July 19, 5-7pm.
Grupo Folclórico de Poughkeepsie will host its sixth annual La Guelaguetza festival on August 3 from 1-4pm at Waryas Park.