Volunteers Bring Las Posadas Back to Martinez Adobe
by Hale Sargent, Anza Trail Interpretive Specialist
Volunteers with a Spanish-language choir in Martinez, Calif., brought las posadas, a bilingual holiday program, to park visitors on December 14, 2013.
In partnership with the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail and the John Muir National Historic Site, the volunteer choir organized a musical procession that revealed the culture and history behind similar events celebrated throughout the Americas.
For many years, an 1849 adobe structure on the grounds of the John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez played host to an annual posada. The adobe now houses a bilingual exhibit about the Anza Trail, which commemorates the impact of Spanish settlement on California.
Last fall, park staff invited the choir to organize a bilingual posada open to participants of all faiths and traditions. More than 100 people came to welcome las posadas back to the adobe. Participants sang along to Spanish-language holiday songs, made Mexican crafts, and broke a traditional seven-point star piñata.
With a large piñata from Alamos, Sonora – the historic southern end of the Anza Trail – hanging over the adobe, the event connected the faith introduced to California by the Spanish with the diverse customs and traditions of today’s Bay Area.