In Chiapas the people look at me as though they can read my innermost thoughts. How is it that they understand me and me – them? Is it maybe because we recognize that we’re all part of the same humanity?
Like me, the women of Chiapas want the best for their children, but what choices do they have? They need their eldest daughters to care for the younger ones; they must demand that their skinny 10 year old sons help them haul the heavy merchandise to the market stalls, and the smallest hands must be taught to weave little bracelets and fashion tiny clay dolls. The children must be urged to wind their way through the throngs of tourists, pleading with them to buy a trinket or two… Every bit of income helps.
I wish I could do more but I know the solution is not in my hands. I can change very little. If I bought everything they have to sell in the market, this wouldn’t change much… not in the long run.
I admire those who live here. I respect the way they do their very best and I learn from them… After every trip to Chiapas, I am more grateful, I am happier and less focused on my own petty concerns. Abstract concepts like faith, hope and love mean more to me.
Chiapas is beautiful but it is not the most beautiful state I’ve visited in Mexico. It has wonderful architecture, gorgeous handcrafts and gastronomic offerings that are awesome. But the people, especially the mothers keep me coming back… Back for another hard look at myself.
The pictures you see are of children I have met on this trip. I wonder what their children’s lives will be like?