Grupo Danza Xunutzi
Rio Sonora, Mexico – 2010
After watching an evening dance performance by a folkloric dance group from the local high school in the small town plaza of Banamichi, our hearts were stolen. It was a stunning performance, much more than one would expect from a high school group. Upon inquiring, we discovered that they had won first place in the state of Sonora for the past three years and placed third for the entire country of Mexico two of those years.
We got them invited to perform at Tucson, Arizona’s annual, Tucson Meet Yourself Festival in the fall of 2010 where they absolutely captivated their audience. They were our guests in Canelo during that visit to the States, formed bonds of friendship and created a relationship that would endure into the future. Their excellence can largely be attributed to a marvelous couple who are their teachers, Nicolas Lizarraga and his wife Selene Paola.
The name of the group is “Grupo Danza Xunutzi,” xunutzi is an Opata Indian word meaning “children of the corn.” During their first Tucson visit with us, we learned about some of the difficulties they had in Mexico such as; lack of transportation, half the group lacked U.S. travel visas, funding for costumes, etc. The short of that story is that, in combination with a number of generous friends, we helped raise the funds needed for a Ford van and applications for U.S. visas for those in the group who were without them. Our relationship, support and affection continues to grow.
There are a number of posts that were made to our blog during the fall of 2010 continuing into 2011: Chronicles for Grupo Danza Xunutzi.