Missing Mexico

I can’t always be traveling. I’m missing Mexico today. That happens a lot. I’m thinking about all the sights, sounds and people that make me happy in what feels like my second home. The place that feeds my dreams and makes me smile. The place that recharges me and inspires me. 
Here are some new small works Inspired by my travels last winter. I’m ready to get inspired some more. 

Un Buen Dia, Playa Del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico

 

Mujer con Chal, San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico


What people or places inspire you?

San Cristóbal de las Casas Chiapas Mexico

The city has become a renowned tourist location for its preserved colonial architecture, red clay tiled roofs, and retention of indigenous culture and traditions. Many residents of the city wear indigenous clothing and walk the streets selling woven shawls and hand stitched shirts.   

 

The city sits in a small valley surrounded by hills. It is really lovely and we walk around and try to get out of the tourists streets. Buildings are painted all kinds of colors. From the we can not see the devastation of the surrounding land from jade and amber strip mining, deforestation and poor resource management.  

 

The hills are full of history. On the day NAFTA was signed back in 1994, the famous Zapatista occupation of San Critobal de las Casas and other Chiapas communities took place. This has spurred some cult tourism, attracting people with leftist political leanings and those interested in supporting indigenous cultures and social justice.  

 

We visit Casa Na-Bolom the former home of archeologist Frans Blom and Gertrude Duby, a documentary photographer, journalist, environmental pioneer, and jungle adventurer. It is in a museum and research center dedicated to the protection of the Lacandon Maya and the preservation of the Chiapas rain forest.

  
We visit the the indigenous market that is absolutely packed with color. I fall in love all over again with all the colorful woven and hand stitched crafts and the small Zapatista dolls. I purchase a beautiful hand stitched hanging from two lovely women that press a pretty hard deal. 
  

We visit the local food market. I love taking pictures of the market stalls but when I took this one, I got yelled at by an old women. I have no idea what these dried plants are. I found them beautiful and meant no disrespect.  It’s possible they are medicinal plants.  

 

Time to move on.  Next Stop: Vamos a la playa, 82 degrees and sunny.

Life on the Road – Chiapas

It wasn’t just the Zapatista that rallied and fought for a better life. We’ve had two rather grim hostel experiences here. We arrived at the hostel after 8 hours on a bus. The place had some pretty glowing reviews an I had booked it for 6 nights. Lesson learned. We discover it is filled with artists living there. That’s the good part. There are several mural projects going on and it’s great to see people happily making art. The place is pretty dirty and my standards are pretty low. I ignore my first impressions but the reality is the room is stinky and the kitchen is a mess. We are gravely disappointed and know we can not live here for 6 days. One night will be more than enough. 

  

art work space at hostel #1

 That evening, we head out to visit another hostel run by a guy who helped us with directions earlier. He shows us the three private rooms with shared bath and we pay him ahead for the next night to hold a private room with shared bath. We eat dinner and return to stinkyville. We close the bathroom door to let the sewer gas vent out the bathroom window and sleep with our room window cracked open even though the air is cool. Sleeping sucks for a variety of reasons and I am up at 6am ready to check out. Fernando asks how I sleep and I said not too well. 

We checked out at 10am with a friendly good bye, filled with new hope and go to our new room at the other hostel down the street. It’s cleaner and our room is much better and has a view of the hills. The kitchen area again is shabby but not so bad. The bed is another story but we don’t find out until later when we try to sleep.  

view from the room at hostel #2

 

Up early we head down the street and pop into a coule of hotels. We settle on one that is clean friendly and has new beds. We are happy with our courtyard view sitting area and clean surroundings. It’s cold but we have layers of clothes to keep us warm. We hope for a sunny day although it is raining on and off. 

 

beautiful cobbled street, San Cristóbal de las Casas

  
If you are remembering bad lodging on your travels please share in the comments section below. We would love to hear about it. 

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