Back to the 30s in Mexico City

First Draft

Do you have a boyfriend? Israel’s mom asked me.

And before I could give her an answer, she continued with a smile on her face: -Because if you not, here you can get one.

I smiled her back and returned my eye to the dancing floor. I tried to imagine the number of couples that had started their story with a: “Do you want to dance?” It was impossible to calculate a number.

The “Plaza of Danzón” of Mexico City’s Citadel has a unique charm. Every Saturday for twenty years, this place takes you on a trip through time when dozens of couples of older adults gather to dance and enjoy the music of Danzón until the event ends at sunset. Is just a matter of giving a quick look and make some questions, until you find yourself swimming in a sea of stories. Memories full of melancholia, tragedy, happiness, passion, hope and above all; music and love.

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Mexico City's Citadel is an architectural complex located in the southwest of the city, initially built to function as a cigar factory. Since its completion in the year 1807, has served primarily as a fortress and military depot. It covers an area of 28 thousand square meters and today houses the Image Center and Mexico’s Library.

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Once again Cristina captured my attention. This time, the question was not directed to me. In fact, it was more as a comment addressing Israel. –Like Silvia, that got herself boyfriend here, you know? She said without losing the smile on her face.

All Saturdays that he is available, Israel takes her mom and her grandma to the Plaza. –Is awesome, you know? You come here and you find out so many interesting things, elders are tremendous! Israel answered to his mother’s comment with an air of complicity.

Perhaps with his comment, he tried to wake up my curiosity, but had not been necessary, after twenty minutes around the Plaza, my curiosity was at its highest level. When do you learn to dance? From where do you know your partner? Do you come every Saturday? What does dancing mean to you? With whom have you come? Anyway, thousands of questions came to my head, each of which I would have loved to ask each of the elders dancing at the Plaza. On my next visit, perhaps...

 

* Danzón: musical rhythm original from Cuba, that came to Mexico in the early 30s with the arrival of Cuban migrants.

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