I am back home now and spin-drying the full color memories of my trip to Chiapas. These are guaranteed to be color-fast, not to fade easily.
We were on the go each of our twelve days, either on our own, roaming the streets of San Cristobal de las Casas, or with our guide, Alex(www.cieloytierratours.com), exploring the ruins,
Since Chiapas provides 35-50% (two different figures I heard…take your pick!) of Mexico’s hydroelectric power, you can imagine how much water there is in this southernmost state of Mexico. Supposedly the rainy season is from May through October, which adds up to big rivers, big waterfalls, BIG water. And with big water comes amazing GREEN, particularly in the lower elevations.
They have created their own religion (within the structure of the Catholic Church) and use this building as a gathering place for worshipping in their own way. The priests have been kicked out (except for baptisms) and it is common to see healers of all types at work, along with hundreds of candles burning (different colors for different requests),
pox and coca-cola being consumed (burping up coke is a way to rid oneself of the bad), groups or individuals chatting, all dressed in indigenous clothing that is the norm. As I said before, it was like stepping back in time.
To imagine what these sites must have been like 12 or 13 hundred years ago, with their incredible architecture and connection to the planets and the stars, seasons and their mathematical mastery is truly mind-boggling.
Another interesting aspect of this area was the recent revolution of the Zapatistas against the government. We saw two good movies on these revolutionary events that began in 1994, and although there is little that we witnessed on our trip besides signage along the roadsides and souvenirs in the shops, I believe it’s not over yet. The government has been more responsive to the Chiapanecans, but there’s a long way to go for the indigenous people to have their basic needs met.