The Rondalla Presencia de Amor of Stockton formed by a male choir delighted the audience with a variety of romantic boleros.
Traditional Mexican Posadas in San Joaquin
By Mayra Barrios
Las posadas (the shelters) in Spanish are an important part of the Christmas festivities in Mexico. These celebrations are held on each of the nine nights leading up to Christmas, from December 16 to 24th.
Posadas are traditionally held in neighborhoods across México, but the tradition has crossed the border into communities in the United States.
Lincoln Latin Leadership (LLL) —a group form by parents, educators, and students, at Lincoln High School in Stockton— organized a posada on Friday, December, 4th at the school grounds.
The traditional event initiated with a small group of participants just a few years ago; however, the event has been attracting the curiosity of its local community, last year the Lincoln posada drew nearly 700 students and families.
The nine days of the Posadas represent a “novenario”— nine days of religious observance based on the nine months that Maria (Virgin Mary) carried Jesus in her womb.
“Parents came up with the idea of having a Posada at Lincoln Unified. We were looking for a cultural event for the Latino community and allow parents to feel connect with the district,” explained Anatomy teacher and member of Lincoln Latin Leadership, Manny Moreno.
Posadas offer the community an opportunity reenact the bible story that narrates the days when Maria and Joseph searched for shelter right before Jesus was born. During the posadas community members position themselves outside and inside of a location signing, praying and role playing the narrated story.
Traditionally, the peregrinos (pilgrims or guests) arrive at several locations singing songs asking for shelter, and a secondary group positioned inside reply with other songs. Participants arrange several stops, and ultimately Mary and Joseph arrive to a location were they are welcomed. In the final station, participants share traditional foods while they socialize.
In San Joaquin County, many Mexican based communities reenact las posadas, at Stockton’s Downtown area, the Mexican Heritage Center and Gallery is hosting a display of nativity sets by community members, churches, and organizations. A preregrinacion (procession) from St. Mary’s is scheduled leading to the new MHC&G location at 111 S. Sutter Street is scheduled for Saturday December 17th.
At Lincoln High las posadas are more than a Christmas social gathering, the Lincoln Posada also is an event which recognizes the achievements of the students in the district with scholarships.
“Each school nominated two students and their families were invited to celebrate their achievements,” said Moreno.
The Lincoln Posada also incorporated other cultural elements such as Ballet folklorico, charros and traditional music by a local Rondallas.
The mission of Lincoln Latin Leadership is to produce a contemporary and progressive leadership system for parents to assist their children in reaching high education says Moreno but it is also important to “keep the rich Latino history and culture in our district.”