Mérida, Yucatán — Citizens and visitors from other countries joined in restaurants, hotels and city squares to celebrate Mexican Independence Day last week. But perhaps the most colorful and beautifully executed party was at Hacienda Santa Cruz, where Fundación BAI hosted an elaborate, sold-out event.
Why do we say that? Photos and a video have reached us, and one visitor has provided vivid descriptions of what the rest of us sadly missed on Thursday night.
Here is their video:
The magic began immediately, according to one visitor.
“Just as Alice was at the Looking Glass to be followed by falling, falling, faaaalllinnng, our entry to the Hacienda Santa Cruz “Noche Mexicana” was as if a new, new, old replica had appeared,” raves Claudia Joslyn, an expat from the U.S. who lives in Mérida. “The gardens of the hacienda were ablaze with the traditional colors of red, green and white up lit. A multitude of long, glowing lanterns hung from low branches. The stage lighting was a sparkle of twinkling lights. Surrounding the moonlit garden area were ghostlike dimly lit hacienda buildings that gave one the feeling of being in a movie set, except it was all real.”
The hacienda itself was a co-star.
“I quickly surveyed the recently restored Chapel whose stenciled walls were recently renewed by Miguel,” says Joslyn. “Two immense white bouquets were aside the crucifix shadowed altar. I could imagine hearing an angelic choir.”
But the main event was on stage, where entertainment ensued non-stop for the next three hours, and then some.
“Animated dancers were accompanied by the most marvelous brightly red-dressed mariachis I have ever seen. The dancers’ colorful regional dress changed with each scintillating set of songs. They stomped and whirled with handkerchiefs waving and skirts twirling,” says Joslyn.
“Both dancers and musicians periodically made their way in and out of the guests’ tables as servers delivered delicious food and tasty cocktails. As the evening quickened, some guests danced to the beat of the current rhythmic latino music. The entertainment concluded with everyone standing during the playing of the national anthem. Guests were led in the traditional “Grito” phrases and responded by shouting “Viva Mexico!” over and over, Joslyn reports.
The benefit was held so that Fundación BAI can continue its sex education, HIV testing and care programs here, to improve the health of the next generation of young Yucatecans.
A brief tribute was given to the Fundación BAI Committee, and a hearty thank you was bestowed upon the new owner of the reborn and revitalized Hacienda Santa Cruz.
Joslyn recommends the hacienda as “large and beautiful and very authentically restored. Any event you could possibly have could be celebrated in lavish style here. I can still faintly hear their rendition of The Huapango in my ears; possibly my favorite Mexican song. Many congratulations to all concerned on a highly enjoyable evening — Viva Mexico!”
Fundación BAI’s next unmissable fundraising event is their 8th Mérida Showcase of Homes on Sunday, Nov. 13. They are just finalizing their selection, so if you have a home you would like to show to help them continue their good work, then please contact them now. Read about last year’s Showcase.
Yucatán Expat Life is a platinum media sponsor of Fundación BAI.