Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mazatec country

The gentle road that winds it's way along the banks of the Papaloapan river through groves of rubber trees and sugar cane is a welcome reprieve as we enter the wide open and warm country of the Mazatec people. Embroidery abounds, fields are fertile, and the weather holds out allowing some of our clothing to almost dry.

Leaving behind the Tuxtepec's paper mills and the largest brewery in Mexico, we turn west and make our way to a little visited gem in a forgotten corner of Oaxaca state: the 1000 islands. Fish, fish, and fish abound and are the main way of life for these people who just 55 years ago grew mainly cotton, coffee, and rice. Sleepy San Pedro Ixcatlan pokes out into the flood waters of the Miguel Aleman dam or Temascal reservoir and nestles itself nicely alongside the imposing presence of the Mazatec holy mountain Cerro Rabon.

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