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Carnaval Trip February 2012 Part 9

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#1 DanB



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Posted 09 March 2012 - 10:02 AM

(Continuing our Wednesday morning shopping trip)
We were on our way to Los Cincos Soles - probably our favorite store on the island. They have authentic arts and crafts from many regions of Mexico. (Cozumel is not a center of any specific craft - like ceramics or wood carvings so most of the Mexican products at Los Cincos Soles are from other regions.) Here are some photos from inside the store. Talavera is some beautiful, decorative pottery from several areas of Mexico.

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And some of the bead-work from the Huichol area (mid-pacific area of Mexico).

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And some of the brightly painted, low-fired ceramics of Guerrero.

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After picking up some things at Los Cincos Soles, we went to the Mercado at Salas and Ave 20. This is a combination of a farmer's market (lot of fruit and vegetable stalls), meat and fish shops (butchers and seafood vendors), and a bunch of specialty booths that sell everything from comic books, to shoes, to hammocks, to special first communion clothes for young boys and girls. We wanted to find a dress shirt for our almost 2yr old grandson (one of the more 'sunday go to meeting' shirts that are worn in more formal occasions). Most of the booths did not have anything that small but there was one old woman (who had a treddel sewing machine in her booth) spent about 15 minutes looking thru her collection. They had hundreds of shirts hung on pipes that run along the top of their shops. She finally found a very nice light blue shirt in size 2-yr-old for 150 pesos. We are looking forward to the summer to see how it looks on him.

We decided to do a drive around the island (east on Juarez to the east side, then south to Punta Sur, then around the south side of the island, and finally back north on the coast highway on the west side to Residencias Reefs condos). On Juarez, just about a mile before you hit the east side (by Mezalitos) is a pottery/ceramics/carvings place called "Mayalum" (its on the south side of the road about 1KM before the east edge of the island). The family that runs this place tells us the main part of the family lives in an area of Yucatan where there are great clay pits. They make their ceramics products there. Their farm contains the clay, they have their kilns there. They then send the products to their Cozumel location. A couple of the sons of the family run the Cozumel location and also do some reproductions of old mayan reliefs and statues in cement and plaster. We picked up a nice serving bowl that whose glazing was hand painted by the family on the mainland.

Then we continued on our drive around the island. The east side is mostly undeveloped. They supposedly had electricity at some point but did not restore it after it was taken out by some of the big storms in 2003/2005. There are a handful of bar/restaurants along the east side, but most of it is wilderness beach.

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As you round the corner and start going back north, you come to the 'other' town in Cozumel - El Cedral. El Cedral is a small community (not much larger than 6 blocks by 6 blocks - whereas San Miguel is about 120 blocks by 60 blocks), mostly known for the annual Festival of the Holy Cross. In the mid-1800's Cozumel was mostly unpopulated. There was a reaction by the Maya peoples in the Yucatan against policies by the federal government that suppressed Mayan culture and treated them as 2nd class citizens. This became quite violent. One guy who was trapped in a church which was being burned by the opposing group, promised God that if he got out of this alive he would hold a special celebration every year in honor of the Holy Cross. He took the cross from the church he was in and migrated to Cozumel. He and his family founded El Cedral and instituted the annual festival. This has become quite a big event, like a state fair. The governor of the state and the mayor of Cozumel always show up for the celebration. This is the sign on the main coast highway on the road leading to El Cedral.

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This is the inside of the small church that was built to house the cross that was bought from the Yucatan.

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One of the big parts of the celebration each year is the "pig-head dance". I have no idea what this is all about. But they have a monument commemorating the dance in the square outside the church in El Cedral.

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