Travel Journal — Mexico City

Mexico City’s Organ Grinders: Why does this Street Performance Draw no Crowds like Others?

My first experience left me awestruck. However, after several visits, not only did my enthusiasm fade, but so did that of others.

Cindy Roaming
3 min readSep 20, 2023

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Organillero in Zocalo Mexico City. Photo by Author

Walking around Mexico City’s Centro Histórico is a real treat. Wondering why? Well, besides the many museums and Artesanias, the streets are full of different street performers. They all add something special to your day. You’ll see live musicians, energetic rappers, and funny comedians, all showing off their talents.

Street performances in Mexico City. Photo by Author

I remember my first trip to Centro Histórico. It was a sunny day, and I was on my way to the biggest Zócalo in the country. Along the way, I noticed something interesting: the Organ Grinders, or Organilleros, as they call them locally. They played Mexican music on barrel organs and wore “Golden Villa” outfits. They dress like this because they used to be with General Pancho Villa’s soldiers during the Mexican Revolution. So, we can say these Organ Grinders are part of Mexico’s history.

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Cindy Roaming

I write about my travel story, foods, and culture. Currently in Mexico City🇲🇽