Shah Eye Center
MXLAN, McALLEN’S NEW FIVE-DAY FESTIVAL WITH
LA GUELAGUETZA PERFORMERS, MEXICAN
ARTISANS AND CRAFTSMEN
The McAllen Chamber of Commerce announced recently that Shah Eye Center will be Presenting Sponsor of MXLAN 2019, a unique multi-day and multi-generational festival geared to appeal to everyone – adventure seekers, families, history buffs, children, and seniors. It will offer experiences for every age and background, all set within a festive backdrop.
Debuting in July, MXLAN 2019 by Shah Eye Center will commemorate the color and pageantry of Oaxaca’s many native cultures, its time-honored past preserved for hundreds of years, and its present and future during the five-day event. MXLAN 2019 by Shah Eye Center is where Oaxaca’s art, music, literature, lifestyle, and culinary experiences will come alive. At the heart of the festival will be “La Guelaguetza,” the traditional dance performance deeply embedded in Oaxaca’s history.
“As you can imagine, this won’t be your ordinary festival by any means,” said Nora Shah of Shah Eye Center. “MXLAN is an experience where attendees will be able to become immersed as participants rather than just as observers.”
Opening this year’s MXLAN, which will be held in the McAllen Convention Center Complex, will be a celebration of the cultures of Oaxaca, Mexico. For hundreds of years, even before the arrival of the Spanish in the 1500’s, the Oaxacan cities and towns have come together each year for the celebration called “La Guelaguetza,” which translates to “the offering” or “exchanges of gifts”(referring to what each individual brings to a celebration). The word originated from the Oaxaca Valley’s pre-Colombian language that dates back 2,500 years. The state of Oaxaca is renowned for its extensive cultural diversity, and MXLAN 2019 celebrates many aspects of the rich, colorful heritage found there. For those unfamiliar with the traditional event, the best comparison may be a giant U.S. state fair with presentations, entertainment, and displays from every county across a state.
“There are several aspects of the festival that moved me to attach the Shah name as Presenting Sponsor,” said Dr. Pan Shah. “The beautiful colors and the traditions and pageantry will offer the kind of experience that underscores exactly why people need to be able to see well to get the most out of life. I know I sound like a commercial, but every day I help people with vision problems, and the MXLAN 2019 by Shah Eye Center will be a larger-than-life event with a boundless array of colors, tints, and shades that make up the very best of Mexico’s picturesque culture. People won’t want to miss any part of it.”
“Dr. Shah and I have been looking for that special event that needed us (Shah Eye Center), an event that is exciting, educational, and brings families together. We found it in MXLAN,” said Nora. “The excitement and authenticity of all the facets of the event – the Mexican Artisan Expo, the concerts, daily street dances, Calenda parades complete with the traditional huge paper mache characters, and the presentation of food and culture are why Shah Eye Center chose to become the Presenting Sponsor of MXLAN 2019. In fact,” she added, “We feel MXLAN 2019 by Shah Eye Center has a real ‘bucket list’ potential. How often can you experience a culture by becoming part of it?” Nora Shah serves on the board of directors of the McAllen Chamber of Commerce, which conceptualized and is organizing the event.
Activities for attendees to enjoy will be plentiful. From the 120-member La Guelaguetza performance in the McAllen Performing Arts Center to a live competition between Mexico’s top chefs and tequila makers, a 5k neon run, fireworks, the Mercado Mexican Artisan Expo with over 200 exhibitors, the Leather and Shoe Expo from the state of Guanajuato, Mexico, outdoor state regional folk dance and musical performances, and cultural center exhibitions, there will be much to appreciate with family and friends.
“We’re thrilled to be a part of this impressive fiesta,” Nora said. “My roots are from Mexico, and I remember visiting my grandmother there as a girl and being mesmerized by all the different dances. We’re sincerely happy to be able to share this with our own community. What wonderful memories we will be creating for our children.”