Mexico’s Independence Day was celebrated Sunday in Point Reyes Station with mariachis, singing, folkloric dancing, Mexican food, Mexican drinks, and children’s art — all outdoors at the West Marin Commons.

Ballet Folklorico of Petaluma Paquiyollotzin provided a visual treat, thanks not only to their dancing but also to their colorful costumes. _______________________________________________________________

Ballet Folklorico’s director, Abraham Solar, said that the group’s name Paquiyollotzin means “joyful heart” in the Nahuath language.

Roughly 1.5 million people, mostly in Central Mexico, speak Nahuath. Or so I read.

Informally, the Nahuath language is sometimes called Aztec.


The four photos of dancers used in this week’s posting were contributed by director Solar. _____________________________________________________________

Drinks for sale ranged from beer and soda to such Mexican specialties as michelada and horchata.

Getting warm applause from the crowd was the band Mariachi Jalisco de Miguel Orozco.

Gilberto Rodriguez (right), who is in charge of specialized maintenance at West Marin School, and John Littleton of Point Reyes Station, who’s known for his wildlife photography, indulged in some spontaneous wrist wrestling at the food booth. To their left, Socorro Romo, West Marin Community Resource Center’s manager, was unaware of all the grimacing only an arm’s length away. ____________________________________________________________

Mexicans refer to their independence day as Grito de Dolores (“Cry of Dolores”) or El Grito de la Independencia (“Cry of Independence”).

It marks the beginning on Sept. 16, 1810, of an 11-year-long war that achieved independence from Spain.

The “cry” was made by a Catholic priest, Miguel Hidalgo, who standing outside his cathedral in the town of Dolores exhorted Mexicans to revolt against the Spanish.

I visited Dolores (now called Dolores Hidalgo) in 2006 and was much impressed by the town’s garden-like plaza and Spanish Colonial buildings. The old cathedral still stands, and I thought: what a charming place for launching a revolution. _____________________________________________________________

A young lady at the art table with a butterfly (una mariposa) decorating her face.

A folkloric dancer twirling at one corner of the West Marin Commons, a once-vacant lot that’s evolving into a park, at the west end of Point Reyes Station’s main street. In the background is the Palace Market.

The sun was warm, and the people had a good time. It was a perfect afternoon. Or speaking in the spirit of the day: el sol era cálido, y la gente pasó un buen rato. Fue una tarde perfecta.