All dressed up for the Day of the Dead festivities, this happy couple greeted us in the village of Zegache, where our hike began.
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The group gathered in front of the spectacular church of Santa Ana Zegache. No matter how many times I visit this church, its vivid colors entice me to take just a few more photos!
We headed out across a flat and peaceful agricultural valley toward the villages of San Antonino and Ocotlán. It’s wonderful to see small fields with several varieties of vegetables instead of gigantic agribusiness farms. People grow many vegetables for sale in local markets, and they use oxen and horses to pull plows and wagons. Farmers in some villages collectively own a tractor and everyone can use it!
Brilliant marigolds and red cockscombs are the favored flowers for Day of the Dead celebrations, and people were cutting them and hauling wagon loads to the cemeteries to use for decorating the graves of their ancestors.
Yet another beautifully painted church in San Antonino
Ocotlán was the home of well known artist Rodolfo Morales, and these are sections of a huge mural he painted behind the portico of the municipal building.
And then… what luck! We spotted a sidewalk mezcal bar and joined some locals for a welcome and unexpected end of hike treat!
For more photos of this and other colorful churches: https://alaskamexicoandbeyond.wordpress.com/2013/03/18/painted-churches/
For a short biography on Rodolfo Morales: http://www.indigoarts.com/gallery_oaxaca_morales1.htm
For interesting information about the saints inside the church: http://colonialmexicoinsideandout.blogspot.mx/2013/10/painted-churches-of-oaxaca-santa-ana.html