Apr 28th, 2010 by robert

San Cristobal is a hub of political activity in southern Mexico. Many non-profits are based in the town, working for all kinds of causes. The Zapatista rebellion of 1994 was directly felt in San Cristobal and the surrounding region spreading eastwards to the Lacondon forests. Although the Zapatista army is demobilized, it has catalyzed a vibrant political movement called La Otra Compaña. Spreading throughout Mexico, especially in indigenous communities, is the simple concept that the current government is bad government (mal gobierno), a government that is structured to support the interests of business and the wealthy. This is a worldwide concept. Its logical conclusion is that the political system does not work in the interests of the poor, and that an entirely new system needs to be built.

I decided to dig a little deeper, Read the rest of this entry »

San Cristobal de las Casas
Apr 26th, 2010 by robert

I arrived in San Cristobal (about two weeks ago)  just in time to go out to dinner with my friends Peter and María Elena, who I hadn’t seen in sixteen years. Peter and I worked together in Costa Rica and Nicaragua during the turbulent 1980’s. Peter´s mother was visiting too, so I began a needed period of regrouping: laundry, writing, talking with friends, and just hanging out. There was no lack of social opportunity, as every night there was an engagement with some of their friends. The conversation in Spanish was rapid and intellectually stimulating, lots of it centered on politics in Chiapas. Read the rest of this entry »

Deep in the Lacondon forest
Apr 20th, 2010 by robert

Chambo stopped every fifty meters to talk about specific trees or customs of his people. He carried himself with dignity and a sophisticated charm that encouraged his audience to ask many questions. I listened while lagging behind to keep an eye out for birds. It quickly became apparent that birding was going to be no more successful than on any other portion of the tour, and that led to further disappointment. But gradually it dissipated as I began to realize that when I relaxed my expectations, I could appreciate other dimensions of the experience. Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 15th, 2010 by robert

After a long, hot day amongst the ruins of Bonampak and Laxchilán, we were dropped in the Lacondon village called Lacanjá. A Lacondon man dressed in nice clothes welcomed the five of us staying the night: the Dane, the three young Mexicans, y yo. He led me and Jacob, the Dane, across a yard, through a hedge apparently onto someone else’s property, and let us into a shed with two beds and a ceiling fan. And left. Light was fading, and when we tried to turn the light bulb or the fan on, nothing happened. Read the rest of this entry »

Bonampak, Laxchilán and Rio Usumacinta
Apr 8th, 2010 by robert

At 6 AM I waited along with a few other people, for the van that was supposed to pick us up for a trip deeper into the rainforest. There were three Mexicans and a Dane, and we chatted now and then until the van arrived, fifty minutes late. Before we boarded I reserved a room at Jungle Palace for the following evening, when we would return after dark from the tour, and I locked my pack in a locker so I wouldn’t have to lug it with me. Read the rest of this entry »

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