We are going to do something a little different today in this blog and try to get everyone in the Christmas spirit.
This is my friend Fortino’s house in Colonia Adolfo López Mateos, the poorest, roughest neighborhood in San Miguel de Allende out on the edge of town. The Mexican people use the word colonia for neighborhood, not barrio. A pirate line brings electricity to the house. There is no indoor plumbing. If you must use a restroom you go up that path on the right and over the hill instead. The house is constructed atop a former landfill, the contents of which have not remained completely buried in places.
Colonia Adolfo López Mateos
I spent all of Christmas Eve, the day and evening, with Fortino and his family last year. During the day those present were only Fortino and Señora Maria, their children and grandchildren. In the evening we were joined by the extended, extended family for the traditional Christmas Eve festivities.
I have previously introduced you to Fortino’s granddaughter, Yvón, who was ten years old at the time. The photos in that entry were taken on this same Christmas Eve. I also showed her the video function on the camera. She had never shot a video before. It is a little rough. It will give you some idea, however, of what goes on at Christmas among the people with very little in Mexico. What you will not see is any exchange of gifts.
We slaughtered a pig during the day that had been raised on the premises for the occasion and fed out with leavings. The board structure behind me was his pen. The first two and half minutes of the video were shot in the aftermath of all that when the pig was in the pot. If you wish to skip that and see the festivities of Christmas Eve, you should advance the video to 2:30 and play it from there. First, there are the chanted prayers of the older women. Second, dolls representing the Child are rocked. Then everyone ceremoniously kisses the dolls as refreshments are served.
The entire video is 6:13 in length. When I am with these people, I am called Esteban.
You are free to believe this or not of course, but years ago when I was a somewhat pretty man generally speaking, I looked downright delicious in candle light. Those days are obviously long gone.
Below I am with Fortino earlier in the year at a grandson’s birthday party.