About our circle

The beginnings of our circle

General Florencio Texoxoqui Yescas, Danza Azteca maestro and professional dancer from Mexico City, arrived in the U.S. in Dec. of 1974. This was a culmination of a 2,000 mile pilgrimage from Mexico City to California. This journey’s goal was to teach the Mexican-Chicano communities of the U.S. about their ancient indigenous heritage. Florencio set up residency at the Centro Cultural de la Raza in Balboa Park. Mario started to learn from Florencio later that month. Florencio gave classes in Danza Azteca, culture and music for several months before leaving.

When Florencio left for Chicago in May of 1975, Mario took on the leadership of the original Danza Azteca Group in San Diego “Toltecas en Aztlan.” This group, was created by several young Chican@ artists and activists to keep alive his teachings. In 1976 General Florencio set up his classes and his seminal Danza Azteca group “Esplendor Azteca” in Los Angeles. Several of the Tolteca dancers went up to L.A. to continue their apprenticeships in La Danza. Mario was one of them.

In April of 1976, Mario Aguilar returned from learning and performing with Florencio due to mononucleosis, and he took on the leadership of Toltecas again. In 1980, Florencio told him that he had to go to Mexico City to be recognized as a Capitàn, or Danza elder…. this at age 26! this was in recognition of all the work he had done in San Diego and L.A. to help teach and preserve La Danza Azteca.

On Dec. 12, 1980 at the hill of Tepeyacac, in Mexico City,  Mario E. Aguilar Cuauhtlehcoc Quetzalcoatl, became the first Chicano recognized by some of the major elders of La Danza Azteca/Conchera. But when Mario came back from Mexico City, some of the Danzantes were upset they he had gotten this honor. In their eyes, there were 5 men in the group  and all five men were Capitanes, or leaders of the group.  Thus Mario and 9 of the other Danzantes left Toltecas and created Danza Mexi’cayotl.

After years of bake sales at local churches, taco sales at sandcastle events, and performances at local schools, the families of Danza Mexi’cayotl, decided to form a non-profit corporation so that they could apply for grants to help carry out the ceremonies and workshops. The had seen “artists” of many exotic fields get grants from foundations, governments,and business. They asked themselves “If an artist can get $10,00 to make a castle of wood, coated with fake fur, why shouldn’t we get a grant to teach recortage, feather-working, or dancing?

Our cultural center is born

In 1987, in order to continue and expand its role in teaching and preserving the indigenous heritage of la Danza, Danza Mexi’cayotl incorporated as a California non-profit corporation, “The Mexi’cayotl Indio Cultural Center” (MICC). MICC is dedicated to teaching and preserving the indigenous cultures of México and the southwestern United States. In 1992 MICC received recognition from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service as a community based, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that is dedicated to bringing knowledge of the indigenous/Mestizo living traditions of Mexico back to the Chicano/Latino communities of the U.S.

Since 1987 We have collected this knowledge from indigenous and mestizo people that still live the traditional ways of life, as well as from academic, scientific, and artistic sources that have carried out research on our treasured cultures. We are community residents, parents, artists, teachers, and counselors who dedicate our lives to diversity and social justice. We work and pray for the cultural, spiritual, ecological, economic and political florescence of our future generations. The Mexi’cayotl Indio Cultural Center is a non-profit, community-based organization recognized by the U.S. Department of the Treasury as at 501(c)(3) Tax exempt non-profit corporation. We are registered with the California Secretary of State as a domestic Nonprofit Corporation, and with the California Attorney General’s Office as a State Charity. We are a community based, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that is dedicated to bringing knowledge of our living traditions back to our communities.

Our multi-media outreach

Danza Mexi’cayotl makes this knowledge, available to students, teachers, and others who want to begin their journey into a more traditional way of life. Danza Mexi’cayotl focuses on serving multicultural youth, especially those low- income families that may not have other opportunities to gain access to traditional and living knowledge. Using traditional media such as oral, musical, and choreographic semiotics, and modern means of communication (websites, Facebook, Adobe Acrobat .PDF files and blogs), Danza Mexi’cayotl, through MICC, has extended is educational outreach to the entire globe. Capitán General Mario Aguilar, Danza Mexi’cayotl, and The Mexi’cayotl Indio Cultural Center are routinely cited in Master’s thesis, doctoral dissertations and news articles.