Our Story Begins …. Two-and-a-half years ago, I began teaching children to read by the side of the road. Here in Puebla, Mexico, there are children working on almost every street corner. Selling candy to passing cars, shining shoes or standing on each other’s shoulders juggling, these kids spend long days in the sun working […]Read more "Yo’on Ixim, one year down the line"
Six months ago I spent long days talking to as many street workers as I could, determined to learn what life was like for this population of indigenous migrants and what could be done to support them. These workers rarely met my eye, pretending not to understand, insisting they didn’t know the family member who […]Read more "The First Six Months"
I meet Rosalina in San Cristobal, ready to make my second trip to her community. We walk a few blocks to the market to stock up for the big dinner planned for tonight. Some of the community’s expert weavers will gather tonight to discuss the possibility of starting a business. Over the course of the […]Read more "A Cooperative: Part 2"
In Colonial days, San Cristobal, the city at the foot of the indigenous highlands, was a mecca of power; a realization of military might and economic dominion. Spanish conquistadors and royal soldiers ventured into the native mountain communities only to collect food, money, and slaves whenever the need or want arose. Decapitated and otherwise dismembered […]Read more "A Cooperative"
I am sitting in a festive Mexican eatery compulsively stirring the coffee brought to me many minutes ago. I’m beginning a new aspect of my work on this project; trying to sell the Street Literacy Campaign to someone who may be able to help. A project director at one of Puebla’s most prestigious universities, a […]Read more "Disparities"
Two or three weeks ago we’re Skyping with Sam from our home in Chelmsford. In the course of reviewing her blog entries, we’re discussing making plans for Paty and I to meet the Tzotziles on our upcoming annual visit to Puebla, when I blurt out, “Maybe I can recount my experience as a guest contributor […]Read more "Dos Amigas"
I meet Paty at 4:00 on the corner where she works. We get on the crowded bus and wait, cramped between students and their backpacks and vendors heading home with their boxes of goods balanced among the passengers. Once off the bus we make our way through the market, stopping to get diapers for Paty´s […]Read more "Mitontic"
The smells of fall are overwhelming in the Mercado Hidalgo, a massive open air market on the edge of the city. Fragrant, yellow Cempasúchil, the flower of the dead; mountains of guayaba, oranges and sugar cane; burning copal incense fill the eyes and nose. Stands with sugar skulls and delicious, steaming atole line the entrance […]Read more "Sundays"
My first “official” interview started this morning at nine o’clock. Rosalina and Patty are from a Tzotzil community in Mitontic, Chiapas. Their community is in the mountains in the southernmost state of Mexico, on the border with Guatemala. The two women are in Puebla with their husbands, each couple with their youngest (for Patty, their […]Read more "Women of the Corn"
Every morning in Puebla as the roads fill with morning commuters, the economy of the street comes to life. Each busy intersection reawakens as vendors, beggars, acrobats, and musicians take their places and start their work day. Among those who work the streets are the disabled, the elderly and the many children. For these people […]Read more "Tzotzil Migrants"