I will definitely go back to southern Mexico. It has been one of my favorite places so far. It is simple beauty.
After taking an overnight bus from Oaxaca to Tapachula, Chiapashttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tapachula,_Chiapas
I got on a village bus to my host’s home in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas. The village is called Cacahotán and is such a beautiful and lively hamlet at the bottom of a waterfall.
This place is full of coffee bean farms. So pretty. Red berries hang full from each branch. Long oblong pans thick with picked beans in various stages of sun drying.
The sun is so much closer there than any other place I’ve been, except the Virgin Islands. Tapachula is the border city to Guatemala, the beginning of Central America.
My host, Ahmet is a great and talented guy. He is a 30 yr. old poet that also happens to co-own a newspaper. As with all my male hosts in this part of the America’s he lives with and helps his entire family. His parents and high school age brother live in the family home and at night lots of family comes over to play guitars and sing.
The family all welcomed me with huge smiles. Only Ameht and his teenage brother spoke any English at all and both wanted me only to speak it so they could practice.
After a cup of coffee (I arrived at their home at about 7am) Ameht and I went with his mom to visit his grandmother, sister and niece. I love to go into the homes of the locals when I travel. You get a great sense of the people and area that way. Ameht’s home consists of two stories with an attached garage and patio which his father has turned into a mechanics garage for their income.
An interesting fact I noticed while I was in Mexico and Central America is that for such a huge area for coffee importing they, for the most part, only serve instant coffee in their homes. Weird.
Once I had met the family I went with Ameht and his mom to see his grandmother, aunt, and niece. Again I got to see other local’s homes. I have to say I was quite a novelty for them. Lots of smiles while they looked me over so that was cool. After we left there, Ameht told me he wanted me to go with him to this “little get together” for a friend of his.
What he didn’t say is that it was an event for his friend who happened to be a famous poet there. Ameht was the emcee for the event and a painting was unveiled and dedicated. Ameht is a poet, I have posted one of his poems in the “pages” section of my blog. We went to the event at a place called, Campo experimental Rosario Izapa.
It was so much fun. I met so many interesting artist, poets, politicians. I had a wonderful time and would very much get involved in this Center if I lived nearby.
The full day I was in Ameht’s home and Southern Mexico he took me to visit his friend’s Hotel up the mountain. He had to do some work on his newspaper (which is a wonderful online periodical about cultural, political and news events in Chiapas http://periodicoensuma.blogspot.com/ and I recommend reading it and or “liking” the fb page).
I loved the van ride to the Hotel. It was majestic. We went there for Ameht to work on the bio of a famous chronicler (who own’s the hotel), Antonio Valera Saá.
Mr Valera Saá and his family opened their arms up to me. Fed me and asked me many questions. I was part of the family for the day. It is a BEAUTIFUL hotel that overlooks the mountain into Guatemala. The name of the hotel is Hotel Colonial Campestre in Union Juarez.
The next morning I said all my goodbyes and followed Ameht through the town to where I could find a ride to the Tapachula, Mexico border with Guatemala. I was leaving Mexico and starting my journey through Central America.
Thankfully Ameht went with me because I never would have found the cheap ride in what looked to me like a WWII tanker. It was fun and the guy gave me a ride for free as long as I taught him some words in English. I was on my way to Guatemala…