By Noemi Zamora
Tribuna de la Bahia
Translation by Michelle Meyer-Fulfer
Dedication, zeal and the love for the traditional Mexican folk dance led to the creation of the group “ Xiutla “ which for 20 years has captivated audiences and been worthy representatives of Puerto Vallarta. Enrique Barrios Limón, the director of the group, expressed satisfaction with the tropes achievements. Through what was at times an arduous journey, Barrios Limon learned the lesson of tenacity and love of art.
Originally started in July, 1994 with 30 members the original name was Grupo Folklorico Infantil DIF.
Five years later the group was renamed Xiutla (shoot-la). The name refers to a place where herbs are born. In their early years, despite inexperience, the group decided to participate in a state folk dance competition. Competing against 38 experienced dance companies, Xiutla received its first gold medal and the respect and applause of all of Puerto Vallarta.
The director stressed that this group has remained successful because city officials, parents and the students, inject the project with passion and love.
Barrios Limón said that currently there are about 150 children and young people who make up Xiutla. During its tenure, the dance troop has seen 10 different groupings, or generations, representing more than 600 children who learned the different Mexican folk dances.
Barrios Limón’s passion for dance and his leadership has driven the dance group through sometimes difficult times, some tear-worthy and some frustrating including occasions of a lack of artistic criteria, closure by the authorities, lack of monetary resources and unnecessary interference from parents. Through it all, Xiutla has thrived and become a true benchmark of the best of Vallarta’s youth.
To mark its 20 year anniversary, the group is raising funds to stage an exceptional celebration involving many of the people who have been part of the development and growth of this group over the years.
Barrios Limón said that they will need to raise approximately $300,000 pesos for this celebration of gratitude which will include performances, a 15 day tour throughout Mexico and recognition of the amazing efforts of the dedicated students, past and present.