Uncategorized

Solidarity and Humanity in Juchitan de Zaragoza

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.

Mural in Juchitan: “The marvel of learning something is that no one can take it from you.”

Within hours of our arrival, our Airbnb hosts (who, in this remote community, collect fine art and pepper their conversations with references to people like Herodotus) connected us to people in the Zapotec community who had plans to help the people in the Caravan.

Continue reading

Desperate Conditions Ahead for the Caravan

My phone rang in our hotel room at 4:15am Tuesday morning. It was Francisco: “Como estas, Kim? Voy a llegar at 4:45 ok?” We think he called to make sure we would actually be awake when he arrived to pick us up at our Tapachula hotel. I met Francisco the day I arrived in Tapachula because he was the taxi driver who took me from the airport to my hotel. On that ride, I told him I was there to support the Caminata, and he replied “Todos somos iguales bajo dios.”  We are all the same under God. Then he said he wanted to help too.

Continue reading

The Caravan from Honduras — Tapachula, Mexico

Yesterday, my San Francisco friend Diane and I arrived in the unassuming, humid and hot city of Tapachula, in the state of Chiapas, Mexico. It’s definitely a weird choice for a  visit — unless you want to support the people of the Caminata de Migrantes, referred to in the English language press as “The Caravan.”

Continue reading

“El Jaguar:” A Mexican Whodunit

El Jaguar

My visit to Oaxaca, Mexico, has been fun and interesting in all of the ways I expected. But it has also involved a mystery that has connected me to a lot of people in ways I could never have expected. The mystery involves a water color painting called “El Jaguar.”

Continue reading

The Artisan Villages of Oaxaca

The state of Oaxaca has many folk art traditions, many centered in the small pueblos (villages) outside the city. Learning about local folk art is a great way to learn a little bit about local communities so this week I visited a few of them. Each village I visited seemed passionate about its art and happy to have visitors. Continue reading

Oaxaca: The Art of (R)Evolution

Templo de Santo Domingo

The first time I visited Oaxaca almost 30 years ago, a friend asked me why I would choose Oaxaca for a vacation because “it’s the Fresno of Mexico.”  I’m Armenian so it wasn’t a good choice of insult but the cities are similar in a few ways. Both have a lot of poor people and strong connections to the ethnically diverse rural communities outside their city centers. But only one has world-class colonial architecture, a prominent arts community, and a spirit of political activism. Also a lot of mole and mezcal. Continue reading

Loved In Translation: American Artist Channels Mexico

You have probably heard the phrase “If you remember the 1960’s, you weren’t there.”  Well, Anado McLauchlin was there and he remembers a lot. He hung out with the Grateful Dead in San Francisco, Rajneesh in India, and the literati in Greenich Village. And then 17 years ago, Anado (not his original Born-in-Oklahoma name) settled down in the countryside outside San Miguel de Allende to pursue his passion for art.                            Continue reading