LAFAYETTE, La. — The sounds and moves of ancient Mexican culture are beating in Acadiana.
At Moore Park in Lafayette, you’ll often find hundreds of soccer players; but, on Tuesdays and Fridays, you’ll also find a couple of dozen women from Mexico dancing to keep their culture alive. You’ll hear traditional Azteca instruments in the background.
“Our dance is mostly the representation of a prayer through movement,” said Dominga Marquez, one of the members of Danza Azteca Lafayette.
It’s a group aiming to bring a little part of Ancient Mexican culture to Acadiana.
Their vibrant costumes represent the four elements, water, earth, fire, air. Elements their ancestors based their lives on.
“It’s a dance created in Mexican culture from our ancestors, and now we’ve made it more modern and incorporated the Catholic church, which is one of the most ancient congregations,” Marquez explained. “We dance in December, which is the month of Our Lady of Guadalupe.”
They say, it is an honor to pray to Our Lady of Guadalupe through an Aztec dance.
The story goes, an Aztec man, Juan Diego, was visited by the Virgin Mary in the 1500s in the outskirts of what’s now Mexico City. Our Lady of Guadalupe is now the patroness of the Americas.
These are parts of history the group hopes to keep vibrant as their kids grow up.
“And they also have that desire to learn, and very quickly they learned all the steps,” said Marquez.
The younger members of the group, honored and proud to be a part of Danza Azteca.
“I know some people don’t want to say where they’re from, they’re scared they’re going to get bullied at school, and that’s not how it’s supposed to be. It should be the other way around they’re supposed to be proud of where they’re from,” said Erika Boroquez and Sandra Briceño.
Both new members and founding ones say they’re happy their traditions won’t be erased.
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