La Guelaguestza, pronounced “gay-luh-gets-uh,” is held every year on the last two Mondays of July—“Mondays on the Hill,” in the center of Oaxaca de Juarez, Mexico. The festival celebrates Mexico’s indigenous cultures through dance, traditional attire, and native food. It originates from pre-colonial traditions when indigenous communities would gather in mid-July to celebrate Chicomecoatl the maize goddess and ask her, for a fruitful harvest. After Spanish colonialization, Catholic missionaries discouraged pagan rituals, changing indigenous festivals to reflect the beliefs of Christianity. Prior to 1920, Guelaguestza was a celebration honoring Our Lady of Mount Carmel. In 1920 an earthquake struck Oaxaca damaging significant amounts of the city. The community was in despair and the city’s morale was at a low, so the state government devised…