Sunday, June 21, 2015

Historical Organs and ancient churches in remote villages of the Mixteca Region of Oaxaca

18 years ago, when my wife and I were traveling together with our four children, a good friend we were visiting in Italy asked my youngest child, a boy turning 12 at that time, what was his favorite place in the world. My wife and I expected an answer like Barcelona, or Northern Spain, or some place we had visited in Italy. Our son answered"Oaxaca!" He made us laugh, but the more I think about it, it seems to be a very good answer.
The courtyard of the Stamp Museum
(Museo de Filatelia) in Oaxaca,
site of the headquarters of the
Historical Organ Society of
As I wrote posts this week about Oaxaca, I realized how much of Oaxaca could be of interest to those who read this blog, how many beautiful churches and towns we could visit together, and how limited was my personal experience, and how over the next few months, I would like to travel back here, and visit so many beautiful places that were built in the XVI and XVII centuries.
Pictures of Historical Organs
 throughout the region of Oaxaca
IOHIO headquarters, Oaxaca
A very commendable movement has been sponsored by philanthropist Alfredo Harp Helu, forming an organization called iohio, which stands for Institute of Historical Organs of Oaxaca. They organize concert trips, visiting churches throughout the region,  with organs that have been restored,  from the XVIII century.  The concert trips usually is a five or six day affair, and they have guest organists from Europe who come and perform in the concert series.

Map of Oaxaca showing the villages
with churches with historical organs.
Cecilia Winter is the director of iohio. The Internet site is The Baroque Organ Festival includes programs in the Cathedral of Oaxaca and in La Soledad, both in the city, as well as concerts and events in Huayapam, Santa Maria de la Navidad Tamazulapan, Santo Domingo Yanhuitlán, Santa Maria Zautla, Tlacochahuaya and Tlaxiaco.


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