While walking the streets of San Cristobal de las Casas in Chiapas state the abundance of street art was irresistible. It seemed that walls in very public spaces were adorned and respected. Take a look!
Art and Life in Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Our final days in San Cristobal were spent exploring the Santo Domingo market, a maze of tents, which was only a couple blocks from our hotel and wandering the hilly neighborhoods
Then on to the hills where we felt perfectly safe without the glare of tourist walkers. There are two pedestrian streets with interesting stores, restaurants and street vendors galore: Real de Guadalupe which runs east/west and Ave. Miguel Hidalgo which turns into Ave. 20 de Noviembre running north/south. We spent time on both but I was drawn again and again to the hills.
The next morning Matt Weatherbee and I were walking again at sunrise. Up the Real de Guadalupe, then 100 steps to the Templo de Guadalupe. There is an alter half way up off to the side and a beautiful dome behind the facade. Below the back side of the church which sits atop quite a hill there is a beautiful valley of farm land which reminded me of a quilt. We started down the steep residential streets admiring and photographing houses and doorways.
This green one especially caught my eye. Near the planted fields at the bottom of one hill was this pink wooden fence which marked a campground with restrictions explained on the sign below: no drinking, no picking plants, no guns or knives, no peeing and no love making in your car! Loving San Cristobal more every day!
Our next stop was a boat trip into the Sumidero Canyon. We piled in a bus and traveled about an hour, loaded onto a motor boat and experienced a wonder. The cliff rise 3,000 feet above the river! The day was perfect. We saw mama monkey swinging from branch to branch in the trees and a baby settled quietly nearer to the river. There were thousands of birds gliding above the water and landing in a couple coves, the Virgin de Guadalupe nestled in a cave above the river and an alligator sunning herself on a boulder. It is nesting season for them and the eggs will hatch in three months.
My father was a mechanical engineer and every vacation we ever took included a visit to a dam on a river and the wonder of the electricity it produced. This trip was no exception as CFE the Mexican electric company created a dam at the end of the canyon.
On arrival back at the dock we were greeted by marimba music then on the bus traveling to three viewpoints on the cliffs high above the canyon. A local man explained that the river runs from Guatemala to the Gulf of Mexico and that the huge valley where the city of Tuxtla Gutierrez now stands was once a lake which fed the river. My husband Jim Carr really enjoyed this adventure. I understand that this canyon is featured on the State of Chiapas flag.
These three girls (and one more who was missing) have taken on the duty of being librarians at the the new Leyendo Project library in the morning session at Adriana Cupul Itza Primaria. Their 6th Grade teacher allows them to leave class three days a week 1/2 hour before recess begins to put the library in order and read with younger children. He told us they feel like godmothers to these kids, some which are not yet reading. Really wonderful to see the community taking ownership of the library. On Friday when Aurora Meade (pictured with the librarians above) told stories to the kids she also made an appeal for the current 5th Graders to carry this forward next year and many were interested.
Leyendo volunteers are also preparing 5th and 6th Grade books for short term lending.
These new librarians will keep track of the system and students will have the opportunity to read for longer periods of time at home. Getting through a Harry Potter book with only a few minutes a day of library usage is frustrating. Very exciting to have help with this new project.