Camino Real


That night a band of musicians walked through the streets of Zacatecas, Mexico, where Oñate’s family was once famous for its silver mines. There are still Oñates there today, and the pink-stoned buildings of Zacatecas are still surrounded by mines whose silver is coveted the world over. Tomorrow we would head to Oñate’s birthplace, Pánuco, and search for the spot where everything started, but tonight we would celebrate. As the band marched, people in the streets followed until the crowd was more than a block long. Car horns wailed as the entourage passed. Jackson and I were swept up with the throng, hurrying along the cobblestones behind the band. On the sidewalks, people danced, and the band stopped and played for several couples. A Mexican man in a white shirt pulled me by the hand and swung me around to the music. I laughed, and Jackson snapped a picture, and then the skies opened and raindrops the size of pebbles crashed over our heads and all around us. But the band played on, and I kept dancing.