Dust. Sweat. Blood. Tears. The jaripeos in central Mexico embody all these elements. A precursor to American-style rodeo, jaripeos evolved from the Hispanic form of bullfighting where bulls were ridden till death. Today, jaripeos have come to represent a distinctly Mexican rodeo infused fiesta which typically centers on the celebration of a patron saint coupled with horse and bull-riding competitions, drinking, fireworks, and dancing late into the night. And the bulls are only ridden until they stop bucking — a happy medium between death and 8 seconds.
I photographed the jaripeos as they moved from town to town across the small municipality of Cerro de San Pedro in central Mexico in 2017. This photo-essay peels back the layers of masculinity and machismo culture, exploring the more intimate moments in the otherwise frenetic jaripeo environment from a feminine perspective. With so much going on people would barely notice me. And if they did, they wanted their photo taken. As time went on, people started to recognize me from one jaripeo to the next, which made photographing the events more familial.