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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Tekit’s fair positions city as Mexico’s capital of the guayabera

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Tekit’s mayor, surrounded by guayabera makers, announce a first-ever fair for the iconic garment. Photo: La Jornada Maya

Some time after the henequen era ended, Tekit’s business community landed upon another industry that is also closely identified with Yucatecan culture: making guayaberas.

More than 80 percent of Tekit’s inhabitants, working in about 200 workrooms, are involved in the guayabera business, selling the boxy, pleated shirt locally and exporting it abroad.

So it’s fitting that Tekit, a town of 9,000 residents 60 kilometers south of the capital, will be home of the first Fair of the Guayabera.

At a press conference held at the municipal palace, Mayor Miguel Ángel Varguez Alonzo, accompanied by some guayabera manufacturers.

“We want to make Tekit known as a working municipality and that it strives to prosper,” said the mayor. The fair’s main objective is to position the municipality as the national capital of the guayabera.

Tekit’s focus on shirtmaking began in the 1960s, but really took off in the 1970s, when the village first became wired for electricity, recalls Don Porfirio Chablé, one of the first guayabera producers.

The fair will start on Saturday, Aug. 5, with an opening ceremony at 10 a.m. Eighteen exhibitors who will present both men’s and women’s fashions, with special discounts for attendees.

That night, at 9, fashion design students from the Universidad del Valle de México, Mérida campus, will organize a runway show. Live music will be supplied by trovadora and guitarist Maricarmen Pérez.

On Sunday, comedian Landy Chan May, better known as Doña Clodo, will take the stage. Finally, on Monday afternoon, a closing ceremony will mark the end of the fair.

The guayabera is a garment of Cuban origin, brought here by wealthy Yucatecos who were traveling often to Havana and shopping at a store called El Encanto. Today, new twists on the old design keep the guayabera relevant and popular with new generations.

Politicians on the Peninsula also favor the untucked garment over a suit and tie.

All activities will take place in the main square.

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