Stepping foot in a dirt lot on Martin Street was like entering a small Mexican town — bands playing, folkloric dancers performing, the smell of authentic Oaxacan cuisine and others praying in a makeshift shrine to St. John the Apostle.
Defying the cold weather, with a forecast of rain that did not fall, natives of San Juan Coatecas Altas, a town in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, gathered Saturday along with guests to honor their patron saint.
At least 1,000 people attended the climax of the 4th annual Fiesta del Pueblo 2012. Many ate mole, a traditional sauce served with chicken, and drank tepache, a fermented pineapple drink. The faithful placed flowers, candles and money before an image of St. John the Apostle inside a small hut made out of bamboo sticks and roofed by a tarp.
While the apostle’s official feast day is on Dec. 27, according to the Roman Catholic Church, residents in Madera opted to celebrate during two consecutive weekends to make it easier for people to attend...