Chiapas cultural march to support the teachers
By: Isaín Mandujano
The music of the marimba, drums and whistles, baskets full of food, thousands of traditional folkloric dancers dressed as Parachicos, Chiapanecas, Tuxtla Zoques and other traditional clothing of the state characterized the cultural march in support of the teachers’ movement against the education reform this afternoon.
To the cry of “maestro, aguanta, el pueblo se levanta” (teacher, hang on in there, the people are rising up), men, women and children began a march that had the flavour of a fiesta but at the same time one of protest, because they were carrying signs against the government of Enrique Peña Nieto and his education reform, and also against Governor Manuel Velasco Coello.
The parents got out their traditional garb that they only wear for the feast of the patron saint and for the first time they used it to support a political and social movement in Chiapas that the teachers of the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) have headed for 26 days.
“The teacher, fighting, is also learning,” read some signs that the dancers were carrying in one hand, and the chinchín (a noisemaker or rattle) in the other.
Rubicel Gómez Nigenda, the sponsor of the Parachicos of Chiapa de Corzo called for a cultural march in support of the teachers. He asked everyone to wear white or get out their traditional dress to come out in support of the teachers, but above all to bring baskets with food so that the teachers can continue their movement. The Parachicos are traditional folkloric dancers (danzantes) from the Chiapas municipality of Chiapa de Corzo. They perform at the municipality’s annual fiesta in January.
The Parachicos, traditional dancers from Chiapa de Corzo municipality.
In addition to the dancers from Chiapa de Corzo, there were dancers from Tuxtla, Suchiapa, Ocozocoautla, San Fernando, Cintalapa and many other municipios that came to the march in order to show their support for the striking teachers.
On reaching the central plaza, thousands of teachers applauded the dancers, as well as the men and women dressed in white who accompanied the cultural march. After the meeting there were a series of cultural events from poetry, dance and even singing.
The CNTE’s leaders thanked the thousands of folkloric dancers for their support and pointed out that thanks to these demonstrations of support they will continue their struggle until they see the education reform fall.
Originally Published in Spanish by Chiapas Paralelo, Thursday, June 9, 2016
Re-Published with English interpretation and edited by the Chiapas Support Committee