A Different La Cruz Experience
28 March 2012 | La Cruz de Huanacaxtle
Based on our other visits here, we’d tend to describe La Cruz as a sleepy, laid-back little village. But this year was a little different.
One of the first things we noticed was that the town square had been refurbished with a rebuilt gazebo, new stucco, fresh paint and newly bricked roads. Back at the marina we saw that an old dirt parking lot had been graded and graveled with several concrete pads added.
It didn’t take long to discover the reason for these improvements. Tianguis Turistico, a convention aimed at the tourism industry, is held each year in various regions of Mexico. In a week’s time, the opening ceremony for the event would be held in La Cruz. During that week, things moved with a speed and urgency we’ve rarely seen down here.
Walking the town each day we’d see crews with shovels and jackhammers tearing up the roads and sidewalks. A few hours later that piece of construction was completed and they’d moved on to the next block.
Amidst the hustle and bustle I was given yet another example of kind, helpful nature of the local people. I was rolling my cart filled with dirty laundry to the lavanderia one morning and the street was a minefield of bulldozers, piles of rubble and open trenches. One of the workmen saw my predicament and—shoving his breakfast burrito in his mouth—picked up my cart and carried it over all the obstacles for me. Service with a smile!
Meanwhile that empty lot near the marina was being transformed. Crews worked night and day to install a huge stage and a viewing area complete with multiple massive big screens. Steel framework was erected to display banners and billboard sized fabric murals. Miles of cable was laid to power all the electronics.
We were lucky enough to have ringside seats for the dress rehearsal of this extravagant event. Three dance troupes had been recruited: one from Guadalajara, one from Mexico City and one from Puerto Vallarta. From traditional ethnic costumes to bizarre, exotic mythological creatures, we were treated to a fantasy of lights, color and music. Then a mariachi band of fifty to sixty men took the stage. These were some of the best musicians in the country and they were amazing to hear.
The next night, thousands of people sat at lined-covered tables being served by white-jacketed waiters. This time we watched the spectacle from further back…sitting on the breakwater. But we still had a great view of the fireworks at midnight.
Forty-eight hours later and that fabulous venue is back to being a vacant lot again. At least a million and half dollars was rumored to have been spent for that four hours of entertainment. But the town still has newly paved streets and straight, smooth sidewalks. And we have a ‘different’ memory of La Cruz to keep with us.