Sunday, April 11, 2010

Trabajo Voluntario: Is Cajun is to Creole as Guajiro is to Criollo?

Readers of El Yuma will remember that early on I had a concurso etimológico to see who could tell the difference between guajiros and a criollos.  I later followed up with a post on the related words yankees, gringos, yumas, bolillos, gabachos, güeros, and guiris.

Well, recently while dancing to Zydeco and Cajun music in South Louisiana, it occurred to me that the relation between Cuban creoles and their less sophisticated rural brethren, the guajiros, is quite similar to the relation between Louisiana's own creoles and their swamp and tradition bound brethren, the Cajuns.

So, in my next post I will explain the difference between Louisiana's Cajuns and Creoles, but who can write me back in the meantime to give me their take on who these two key ingredients in the New Orleans gumbo are.

While we wait, here are a few more photos of my trabajo voluntario trek down in Louisiana.  Again, most of these photos were taken by my students.

Two photos of a Creole plantation in St. Martinville, Louisiana   

Gators in Barataria Preserve in Harrahan, Louisiana

A Recreation of a Cajun Fishing Camp in St. Martinville 

The Swamps of Barataria with New Orleans' Tallest Building 
"One Shell Square" in the background

This final group of photos are all from Eunice, Louisiana,
known locally as
"The Prairie Capital of Cajun Country."  
We spent an unforgettable evening at the local theater,
Liberty Center, 
where we attended a Cajun version of a cross between
"The Grand Ole Opry" and "A Prairie Home Companion":
The weekly "RENDEZ VOUS des CAJUNS."


  1. Hi Ted! Great post of my old stomping grounds! Isn't Cajun country awesome? You should come back and visit Lafayette. It's the BEST, cher!

  2. Great pictures bro! You may have a second calling. Impressive.