Friday, December 14, 2007
Wednesday was the día de la Virgen de Guadalupe, though we didn’t realize it until we took the bus to the neighboring town of Melaque to buy a card for our cellphone and some cat food. We arrived just as the parade was about to start. Juan, the poor indio, rode in the back of a pick-up truck, hands upturned in supplication, farmacias and ice cream and inflatable turtles dissolving as he gazed at the apparition of the virgin. A young girl in a sky blue shawl with folded hands and downcast eyes humbly blessed the Mexican church with its own miracle. Boys were Aztec warriors with peacock plumes. A wailing song drifted down the street, the singer unseen, the verse repeated, echoing in the voices of the onlookers.