This three-day festival promotes Mexico’s indigenous roots which, as with most of the world’s native groups, are in danger of being yanked out by national and international corporate greed.
Now in its seventh year in 2020, the lineup for the festival includes music and dance performances, plus workshops and conferences, with art and handicrafts for sale throughout the weekend.
Activities are free and take place in Ajijic’s main plaza and inside the Centro Cultural Ajijic as well as the lakeshore near the malecón, where you can take part in a traditional sweat lodge ceremony called a temazcal.
The seventh annual Festival Cultural Sangre Viva will be held March 13-15, 2020, with activities happening in the Ajijic plaza and on the lakeshore. The complete schedule of events for 2020 hasn’t been released yet.
Here is what the 2019 music and dance schedule looked like so you get some idea of what goes on:
And this was the 2019 workshops and conferences schedule:
Last updated February 29, 2020
Photos of Festival Cultural Sangre Viva
The Festival Cultural Sangre Viva opens with a ceremony in the Ajijic plaza, which you're invited to participate in.
In the video below, watch Chichimecas Jonaz perform a dangerous dance using machetes on the Ajijic plaza:
Fine Art Photography of Lake Chapala
Aztec Dancer on Mezcala Island
Jaime Rodríguez stands on top of the fort walls on Mezcala Island, a half-mile stretch of land rising out of Lake Chapala, Mexico. A local indigenous group successfully used the island as a fortress against the Spanish during the War of Independence in the early 19th century.
Watch Mariachi Antiguo de Acatic perform a song during the 2018 Festival Cultural Sangre Viva:
Mariachi Antiguo de Acatic
Mariachi Antiguo de Acatic plays mariachi music as it would have sounded in the 1800s, playing with the original types of instruments in use at that time. They sometimes play at the Festival Cultural Sangre Viva.
The Aztec dance group Ce Ollin will perform at the 2020 festival. Originally from San Cristóbal de las Casas in Chiapas, they travel southern and central Mexico to perform at festivals and on the street.
Workshops, Conferences & Exhibits
The festival includes a number of workshops, demonstrations, conferences & exhbits. Check back here for the 2020 schedule or follow the festival's Facebook page.
One of the workshops last year was the elaboration of papel amate:
Temazcal Sweatlodge Ceremonies
Several temazcal sweatlodge ceremonies are scheduled throughout the weekend, which you can participate in for free along the Lake Chapala shore.
The schedule hasn't been released yet. During the 2019 Festival Cultural Sangre Viva, the ceremonies were held Friday at 10 p.m.; Saturday at 10 a.m., 4 p.m. and 10 p.m.; and Sunday at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The cost is a small donation. Maybe $100 pesos per person would be suggested.
The temazcales are held here at "La Crucita" on the Lake Chapala shore:
Meet on the shore at the times indicated above to participate.
For a local temazcal that's available year-round, make a visit to Tepetates Temazcal.