Las Monarcas visit Los Primos
The visit to Morelia, Michoacán in October/November 2022 by 18 Fraga Family members from the United States (Las Monarcas) and hosted by our cousins from Mexico (Los Primos)
This trip was the result of two previous visits to Morelia in October 2021 and April 2022. These visits reopened the doors to renew the visits that previous generations of our family had taken for decades. It was intended to expand the the experiences to more Fraga Family members in the United States so that they could have the chance to meet the many family members who welcome us.
Starting October 26, our group arrived in Morelia over the course of a few days. One of our first group activities was a walking tour of Morelia led by our English speaking guide, Alfredo Ibarra. Alfredo did an excellent job of giving us a sense of the culture and history about Morelia’s Centro Historico.
We were then treated to two amazing family get togethers on Saturday, 10/29 and Sunday, 10/30. Our hosts and family members who came from many parts of Mexico could not have been more welcoming! (Check out the photos on this page and the complete collection) Very special thanks to Laura Solís Chávez, José Mendoza Lara, Andrea Garibay, Alejandra Gálvez, Yolanda Chávez and her family, Roberto Santillan, his wife, his brothers, and the rest of their faamily!!
On Monday evening, Camille Fraga Von Dreele, Bev Radjewski and Julie Brazen led a group session with a mix of cousins in meditation, Healing Touch and yoga.
On Tuesday our group was fortunate to have secured our guide, Alfredo to lead us on an incredible 10 hour Noche de Muertos tour. Starting in the afternoon in the town of Pátzcuaro to get a sense of the celebrations in the town we then visited a serene cemetery at dusk where we had the opportunity to wander through the graveyard as families were honoring their family members who have passed. From there we went to a completely different cemetery experience in the town of Tzintzuntzan. (I am hoping others in our group will add their own descriptions to everything I have touched on. Again, some of the photos and videos provide some idea of what we experienced.) Then we finished up the night with a visit to the small town of San Francisco to experience some vigils/celebrations/ofrendas in perosnal homes. The movie, Coco used the town as a model for many of the scenes depicted in the movie. In fact, the character Mama Coco was based on a real woman from this town and we had the opportunity to visit her home where they were celebrating her as she had passed away quite recently. All in all quite an impressionable night – Michoacán’s Noche de Muertos celebration is truly iconic.
Finishing up our stay we were honored to have been invited to participate in the Fiesta del Libro y La Rosa held at the Centro Cultural of Universidad Nacional Autonomia Mexico (UNAM) on November 6th. We presented the recently published (by Red Utopia) book An Immigrant’s Journey/Travesía de un Emigrante authored by Daniel E Fraga (Uncle Dan) and screened the documentary Michoacán to Michigan. We had a full session with some very engaged participation during the Q & A. Muchas gracias to our cousin, Alejandra Gálvez who provided the Spanish translation and to José Mendoza Lara and Laura Eugenia Solís Chávez for making this possible.
My hope is that with our renewed connections with our family in Morelia and Michoacán that more members of our family from both the United States and from Mexico are able to visit with each other! We have bonds that now stretch over 100 years. We now have the opportunity to create new relationships with new generations of family to build on what our grandparents Martina and Valeriano and their children established with their visits to Mexico over many years.
For anyone interested in seeing the whole collection of phtos from the trip, you are invited to view them at