Rocio Sandoval - Painter

This former escaramuza rider has combined her love for charreria and horses with her artistic talent for over four decades in Aguascalientes, with dozens of exhibits worlwide. She says it's the horses' free spirit that she admires and tries to capture.

Escaramuza team Reencuentro Sanmarqueno
Escaramuza Reencuentro Sanmarqueno carry a banner designed by Rocio Sandoval, whose daughter rides on the team.

Banner of an escaramuza rider
Banner detail

Sandoval's work was recently spotted on a banner used by an escaramuza team during the opening parade at an escaramuza fair, seen in the pictures at left and above. 

She didn't grow up in a charro family, but fell in love with charreria and married a charro who was also an escaramuza team instructor.

After years of riding with escaramuza teams, she passed the tradition on to her two daughters who are active escaramuza riders and team instructors in Aguascalientes.

Painting of white horses by Rocio Sandoval
Title : Rumbo Fijo (Straight Course)

Sandoval is best known for her paintings of Our Lady of Guadalupe and for the spiritual references she incorporates throughout her work.  For example, her paintings of Mexico's patron Saint are surrounded by ancient Indian codices that hark back to Mexico's indigenous religious history, a tribute to mother earth, known as "Tonantzin" by the Mexicas (or Aztecs) before the Spanish conquest. In all her work, she incorporates images of the four elements, the four cardinal directions and codes from the Nahuatl language, one of the most widespread ​​prehispanic languages alive today in Mesoamerica.

Artist Rocio Sandoval with her paintings of the Virgin of Guadalupe
 Rocio Sandoval poses with her paintings of Our Lady of Guadalupe, that include ancient Indian spiritual symbols.
Painting by Rocio Sandoval
Title : Retorno a lo Sagrado (Return to the Sacred)
Sandoval, who gives art classes to all ages from her studio in Augascalientes, is also an authority on various Mexican traditions. She speaks at conferences about the Virgin of Guadalupe, the tradition of The Day of the Dead and the "Huehuetlatolli," or 'The sayings of the old,' or wisdom that was passed down from generation to generation in the Nahuatl language.

Rocio Sandoval 
Aguascalientes, Mexico
E-mail :
 Home : 001.449.914.0684 (telcel) 
Cell :045.449.111.66.45

Mariana Rodea Rangel Pasante - Photographer

The Art of the EscaramuzaMariana Rodea Rangel Pasante is a budding photographer based in Toluca, Mexico. At the ripe age of four her grandparents introduced her to riding horses, and she went on to join her first escaramuza team as a teen. 

Rodea aspires for a career in documentary photography, starting with the subject of charreria. Her first pictures were of landscapes and product shots for advertising.

Rodea is finishing up her graphic design degree in 2013 at the Mexico State Autonomous University (Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Mexico) at the school's architecture college. 

Her thesis? Naturally, related to charreria and photography, titled : "Photographic abstract, cross country, the old fashion way at Buenavista Ranch, Villa Victoria."  

Rodea says her thesis takes an anthropological approach to the national sport, and concentrates on the sport outside the charro arena, which she got a close look at while living in the town of Villa Victoria near Toluca for 13 years.

"I'm an escaramuza rider because Mexico needs to bolster the female side of its traditions, of sacrifice, faith and courage, and fills us with pride."
Photograph by Mariana Rodea Rangel Pasante Above: The escaramuza team Las Peñitas de Villa del Carbón performs a second time during the Escaramuza Fair of Temoaya, in the state of Mexico, on Sept. 15, 2012. Instead of wearing their team's escaramuza uniform, they are wearin Apache Indian costumes, and mounted bareback. This style is not considered part of the escaramuza sport, but requires horse true horse riding skill and is usually a hit with the public.