Here They Come!
“High season” has come to La Manzanilla with the steady influx of its winter residents.
In the shops, on the streets, and at the surf’s edge, a chorus of “Hey, welcome back” fills the air. Casas are opened, suitcases unpacked, upcoming events are discussed, and margaritas are poured. Let the good times roll!
Meet the Artist
On Friday, December 4, Galeria La Manzailla hosted its first Meet the Artist reception for the season featuring Efren Gonzalez. Visitors to the event were delighted by the artistic abundance of his newest works and equally charmed by the man himself.
Gonzalez is always willing engage in conversation about his love of life, passion for art, his sources of inspiration, and most of all his commitment to family and culture.
Gonzalez will be returning to La Manzanilla on February 26 to 29 to hold a painting workshop for interested parties. Whether you are a dabbler with a brush, or an aficionado of the canvas, he always brings something new to his classes with which to inspire you. This year, he plans one full day of plenaire painting. Cost for the four-day seminar is US$300 or equivalent in Mexican pesos. All supplies are included. Space for his February workshop is limited to 12, so interested parties should register early. More information and registration forms are available at Galeria La Manzanilla, Calle Perula Sur 83.
Too often I have heard the many talented artists in La Manzanilla bemoaning the fact that art supplies are difficult, if not impossible to find in the area! Not that I included myself in the “talented” category by any means, I am just a dabbler. But I have also the experienced the frustration of not being able to purchase supplies. Well, no more! On November 26, Hidie Ramos, unveiled the newest business in town: Hidie’s Art Supplies.
Ramos is the younger sister of Abigahil Ramos, owner of Galeria La Manzanilla. While Ramos herself does not paint, she could see that an art supply store would be a welcome addition to the businesses in town. So this wise young entrepreneur enlisted the help of Efren Gonzalez to guide her in her choices of inventory. She paid attention to his suggestions and advice. When I entered the shop one morning, I was convinced that I had entered a small part of artist’s heaven. From sketching pencils to full size primed canvases, the shelves were stocked with everything needed, no matter what your choice of medium is. So now that you have been inspired by Gonzalez’s exhibits, you have the resources available here in town to create some of your very own masterpieces.
One of the most important celebrations in Mexican culture is the tradition of the Quinceañera. This constitutes a ceremony on a girl’s 15th birthday to mark her passage to womanhood, give thanks to God for his blessing, and to present the young woman to the community. The origins of this festival is shrouded in layers of Mexican history. As with so many things Mexican, it embraces a rich Aztec and indigenous culture, mixed with Spanish-Catholic traditions, along with a little French flavouring, and a dash of the 19th-century Austrian Court atmosphere. From an Anglo perspective the festival would seem a combination of a Sweet 16 Party, and a Debutant Ball. Earlier this week, this most special of occasions, a rite of passage, was celebrated recently by one of our lovely young ladies of La Manzanilla.
The day began with a special Mass to give thanks for a completed childhood, and give blessings upon the emerging woman. The young festejada, Alejandra, was seated at the foot of the church alter, resplendent in a gown of blue satin and tulle. Seated around her were her beaming parents, Ramona and Gustavo, her godparents, her maids of honour and their escorts. After the Mass, a bouquet of flowers was placed on the alter to honor the Virgen de Guadalupe. Then it was off to the party being held at “Casino” which had been transformed into a fairy-tale ballroom for the evening. Yards of fabric were draped from the ceiling beams while paper lanterns dangled daintily, distributing a warm glow that softly illuminated the venue. Flower arrangements adorned tables that were draped in blue and white cloths. Gifts of remembrance were distributed to the 200-plus guests, and then a formal dinner was served. Dessert was an immense cake which was so beautifully decorated it almost rivalled the young debutant’s dress. During the dinner, many toasts were given in honor of Alejandra, the first, from her parents, blessing her and offering wise advice. As the band began to play, the first dance was reserved for father and daughter, a moment in time that I’m certain will be played time and again in both their minds. Traditions and festivals are important observances for families and the entire community. The Quinceañera is among the most meaningful and beautiful of occasions. It is anticipated with much happiness and remembered fondly by all those involved.
Christmas Tree Fiesta
Friendly reminder. Friday, December 11, 6-8 p.m., our Christmas Tree Fiesta is happening at Magnolia’s Kitchen & Drinks. Come out and bid on a tree, all the while enjoying the scrumptious appetizers and festive drinks on hand. Proceeds from this event will be donated the rebuilding of Activos Gym.