Our Roots: Brownsville celebrates ancient Mexican cultures - Brownsville Herald: Local News

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Our Roots: Brownsville celebrates ancient Mexican cultures

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Posted: Monday, October 7, 2019 12:58 pm

The first ever Ancient Mexican Cultures celebration kicked off at 10 a.m. Saturday in the Brownsville Performing Arts Academy with a presentation from anthropologist Tony Zavaleta, who talked about Aztec history.

During his presentation, Zavaleta talked about the Mexica Aztecs 600 A.D. to present day, including information about Aztec warrior Popocateptl, Tenochtitlan pyramids and the Mesoamerican chronology.

“I’m honored to be here ... to see new and familiar faces and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you being here,” Zavaleta said to the audience.

Mexican Consul Juan Carlos Cue Vega was present at the event and said he was happy with the turnout. He added he has known Zavaleta for more than 20 years and hopes everyone enjoys listening about Aztecs.

“I’m very happy that all of you are here participating in the event,” Cue Vega said in Spanish to the audience. “Thank you so much for being part of this and I hope we all enjoy this Aztec memory.”

After the presentations, the celebration continued in the Market Square commons area with a dance demonstration by the Revival of Cultural Arts followed by the Azteca ballet performance Mexikatl.

The event was sponsored by the City of Brownsville and supported by the Brownsville Historical Association and the Revival of Cultural Arts.

“It is very important to give the community those spaces that really focus on enhancing our knowledge and just coming together as a community. And how else to do it than with history and just our traditions and fully understanding our beginnings,” Hilda Ledezma, ROCA founder and director, said. “The plans are to continue this and make it an annual event, with this being the first, and it is like everything; you start small and it grows. So, for our Revival of Cultural Arts it is a great honor to be part of it and now we are standing here at the Performing Arts Academy where a lot of these events will take place.”

The all-day celebration included a music presentation from “Sak Tzevul,” an indigenous rock band from Chiapas, Mexico. Also performing were Ensemble la Mision, Danza: The Aztec Experience, Edinburg Folklorico Group, and Danza Matamoros, among others.

“First of all, a big thank you. It started off as an idea and a dream, for some us, and I think that the more engagement we get, and the more collaborations and the partners who come together to make events like this come true, really enriches our community. So, thank you so much for their support,” Ledezma said.

Gilberto Velasquez, main organizer of the event, said in a previous interview with The Herald that he wants this event to become an annual, bi-cultural event between Brownsville and Matamoros. He added that this is a good time to celebrate ancient Mexican cultures because this year is the 500th anniversary of the arrival in Mexico of Hernan Cortes, conqueror of the Aztecs.

The event was free and open to the public.

nreyna@brownsvilleherald.com

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