MiniMaz Now Includes the Baluarte Bridge

Photo from Marco Hernandez Alvarez

Photo from Marco Hernandez Alvarez

Remember the VERY cool “mini Mazatlán” diorama we wrote about last Christmas? The size of a garage, it includes the malecón and many of its beautiful monuments.

Well its creator extraordinaire, Marco Hernández Álvarez, has now added the Baluarte Bridge to his work! His replica is 4 meters long, 2.10 meters high, and uses 120 meters of “cable.” The towers are decked out with LED lighting. I have not yet seen it live, but he tells me the full diorama is up and ready for viewing! I can’t wait! Today he is putting some signs on the bridge, and he will send me photos when he’s done. I definitely recommend that you make the trip to see it this holiday season.

Marco invites our readers to visit him at Rio Panuco #106, Colonia Reforma. He’s given me permission to share with you his cell phone number: (669) 145-00-13. Please call him before you come and he’ll make sure he’s there to open the gate for you to come in and take a look around. While I’ve never spoken to him in English, my guess is he’s speaks it quite well. Give him a hug for me, please. Below are a couple of photos of the bridge replica at night all lit up.

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Día de los Muertos en Durango

You may recall that last month we went to Durango, prior to the road opening. This weekend we had to go again. Thank GOODNESS the road was open! The Baluarte Bridge is incredible, and the entire drive is unbelievably gorgeous and easy (three hours door to door). Greg will write more about that in a separate post.

We were heartbroken to miss the callejoneada for Day of the Dead here in Mazatlán, but we thought we’d share with you a glimpse of what Día de los Muertos looks like elsewhere. In Durango the cemeteries were full of people, of course—flowers, cleaning, bands, praying and partying. The city also hosted a hot air balloon festival. In the main plaza, in front of the cathedral, there was a large “Day of the Dead” display set up. It contained a dozen or more life-sized papier maché katrinas and other scenes, plus a few stages for performances.

Durango was completely different this time, primarily because last time we were there it was the height of their major annual cultural festival. Streets, plazas and restaurants were much less crowded this time around. Below are some photos we took this trip—a favorite new restaurant, some street scenes, and the plaza display. Click any photo to enlarge or view a slide show.

On Friday night Greg and I wandered back down to the plaza while Danny studied for his test, and there was a children’s folkloric dance group performing. What was out of the ordinary about this one was that the kids all dressed up as calacas—skeletons—and in glow-in-the-dark costumes. The stage was lit with black lights, so it was a pretty cool effect. We enjoyed it a lot.

Just prior to the performance, the little kids had fun posing for my camera. During the performance, shots were of course very challenging, as it was very dark and the kids were constantly moving. They danced to some songs you’d expect—Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” for example—and they also took us on a tour around México.

I put together a short (three minute) video of the performance. I trust you’ll enjoy watching it. The kids had soooo much fun in their costumes. They knew they looked great.

On the pedestrian street to the left of the cathedral, just down from Hostal de las Monjas and across the street from our favorite little cenaduría, El Parcero Tacos Bar, is a large funeral home, Funerales Hernández. They had an altar to Jenni Rivera that was larger and more superb than ANY I have EVER laid my eyes on. They called it a “Monumental Altar de Muertos.” It contained dozens of life-sized katrinas, ceramic and sugar skulls, antique and artesenal chachkes, Jenni Rivera music playing (not too loud), a mini disco ball for effect, and gorgeous paper work. Just take a look:

On our way back to the hotel, we walked by the old Palacio Municipal. It was all decorated for Day of the Dead, too. Those photos are below.