We arrived yesterday in the town of Juchitan de Zaragoza along the coast in Oaxaca where the Caravan was scheduled to arrive this morning. We had heard about Juchitan, known for its matriarchal social structure and large community of gay and transgender residents. Turns out there is plenty more here that makes this community special.
We met in the Zapotec community center called “Radio Totopo,” which is lovingly painted with mildly revolutionary murals. Eva and Carlos created a shopping list for us and then drove us to the chicken man’s house to put in an order.
Based on our experiences last week, we were not surprised to find that the people in the Caravan were, in spite of their exhaustion and hardships, caring, peaceful and social. A group of young men playfully taunted me for 20 minutes because the apples and milk are “para los ninos!” Another group of young people approached me at the front of the food line to say they didn’t need to wait in line because they were special — “we are LGBT!”. I gave them hugs and told them they were in the right town and one of them suggested that some of them may remain here
Two young men who remembered me from Tapachula made a point to come over and say hello. One joined us on a second trip to the market to help haul crates of milk and produce in trade for a roasted chicken.
It is tragic that, except for the Red Cross, the world’s rich charities are still no where to be found –as far as I have been able to tell, the local Mexicans and the two of us are the only ones feeding these people who, as you can imagine, just cannot get enough calories.
The opposite of tragic is the generosity and kindness of the Mexican people. Those in Juchitan are still recovering from last year’s devastating earthquake and yet they treat these 5,000 strangers like the most important of guests. All of the food is made with love and paid for with money they don’t have to spare. Tonight at the encampment, our Zapotec friends Carlos and Coral got on a stage to encourage the members of the Caravan with messages of solidarity and calling their journey “historic.” And then they played “Coco” on a giant outdoor screen.
Our Mexican friends seem to view the whole world as part of their family. And they make me feel that too.
This article is so healing, Kim, after this terrible few days…. It is so hopeful… about kind and loving people. Thank you for being there. I’m glad they played Coco. I LOVE that movie. What did they think of it?
Yes the world is jam packed full of wonderful people for sure. I am also sure everyone loved Coco!
Love the updates. Thank you for taking us along.
Thanks for coming with us — it makes it more meaningful to share with people in our lives.
How wonderful! You have a special gift to be in the middle of crazy miracles.
Crazy miracle it is.
What a remarkable experience! Glad you are keeping safe and providing oranges, etc. to these desperate people.
Yes they are desperate but you wouldn’t know it if you happened to meet one of them on a park bench. They clean up, they are social, they mostly smile and look good!
Thank you for all you are doing, Kim. Your compassion and hard work mean a lot to everyone around you. And you are making it all very real to all of us who follow your blog.
Hugs Wendy. Thanks always for the support.
I admire your work and hope to see these people succeed after that long journey. Thanks for being that way 🙏
Thank you for the nice note. I treasure this time with these courageous people.