Oct 15, 2010, 11:16 AM
Post #1 of 6
Don Carlos of Aguacatenango comes to our house in San Cristóbal for espresso and croissant on occasional mornings and, over time, we have become sort of his pawn broker. If he makes one of his primitive, small rugs at his rudimentary home loom in Aquacatenango and brings it to the andador or market adjacent to the ex-convento Santa Domingo but cannot sell the thing, he comes to us and, over coffee and a treat assigns us the rug as collateral for the fare for a bus or combi ride back to his Zapatista village of Aguacatenango and, then, a while later, when he returns to San Cristóbal, he pays us back and reclaims his rug and that is just the way things are done thereabouts. Once in a while we may visit him without being intrusive since Aguatenango is a Zapatista stronghold and not particularly welcoming of foreign visitors and there he is in his ancestral shack wearing his typical Che Guevara T-Shirt and welcoming us with absolute civility and while this village is not warm and welcoming to foreign strangers, we always feel at home there for a while as long as we leave when the welcome wears thin as it inevitably must . Rural Chiapas can be intimidating but if you are able to overcome that then it ain´t so bad as long as you do not wear out your welcome.
Don Carlos is now losing his eyesight due to advancing diabetes and he came to us for advice and we visited the local San Cristóbal doctor at a hardscrabble clinic who told him he would lose his sight if he did not modify his diet and I don´t think that registered so soon he may not be able to weave the rugs that supplement his meager farming income and that is just the way it is where everyone is dirt poor and one eats what one has and that´s just the way it is. It may be hard, if not impossible, for middle-class folks who normally read this forum, to comprehend this dire poverty but there it is. That´s life.
(This post was edited by Hound Dog on Oct 15, 2010, 2:35 PM)