Central America | Mexico | Istmo & Gulf of Mexico | Chiapas | San Cristobal de las Casas – even in my armpits

Central America | Mexico | Istmo & Gulf of Mexico | Chiapas | San Cristobal de las Casas – even in my armpits

i just crawled out of the lacandon jungle… my entire body is covered with bug bites of all sorts – even my armpits…

but as i told a friend earlier, if there is a more beautiful place on earth, i am sure i will probably get there sometime – until then, i could die very happy right now, knowing i’ve already been in one of the most beautiful places on earth…

after being in palenque for a few weeks, where the people are mean(but boy they want your money and won’t get off your back for it), being in the Lacondon jungle was a real treat… if there were any people at all (and there were only a few), they were the most amazing, friendly, beautiful people. Props to the indigenous people of the Lacondon jungle, it’s too bad there are only around 600 of them left – i have no words for how amazing they are, and of course, their beautiful land is shrinking by the second. Their only recourse has been to go the ecotourism route but it’s not like there are people pouring through… Still, they have done an amazing job of maintaining the jungle – their abundancia is there, despite or because of the hard work they all do from the crack of dawn until just past sunset…

I stayed with a family there – they charged me very little for the experience of a lifetime. The Lacondon people respect artisans – an artisan in the jungle is an artisan who has to pay for very little…

the second to last day i was there the husband organized a two day jungle hike, tho i couldn’t go – had to get back to Palenque to get back with la banda and make a group move to San Cristobal. It was a shame, because he only charged me fifty pesos for it – artisan rate – in lieu of the two hundred pesos everyone else agreed to pay.

I was really bummed I couldn’t go, but then the wife asked if i wanted to go out into the jungle with her instead. We needed firewood for dinner that night.

Off we went, this 35 year old woman with six kids, the youngest (aged 4) still on the tit. She was about five feet tall, with gallstones… You probably get where I’m going with this, but anyway… We went through the jungle, and here and there she hacked up some firewood and made little stacks. I assumed we’d walk back and gather it all after she’d found enough, but what we did was walk for another hour until we came to a clearing where someone had cut down a large, large tree…

this tiny little woman hoisted a gigantic tree stump onto her back, and then asked me to put ANOTHER ONE on top of it…

here, hold my machete and my shoes, she said, this is better done barefoot…

wanna feel like a wimpy American fool? Go hang out with some indigenous people in the jungle for a bit. She refused to let me carry one (thank god, there was no way i could have carried one of those things for an hour) – no, she said, i do this every day, always, my whole life. It’s fine. Hold the machete…)

How much of a fool I felt, how much of a wimpy, spoiled American…

Afterwards, I visited more waterfalls… I’d come to this park the day before late in the afternoon. Like a lot of indigenous projects, this is run communally and when I got there that late afternoon, the Lacondons were having a meeting. There’s nothing like coming through the trees to see about two hundred forest people, almost all of them in the white robes they wear (how they keep them so white is a mystery)…

I was in some kind of heaven, surrounded by angels and hadas.

Anyway – the park was closing so i came back the next day. ‘Oh, you’re an artisan, he says, i won’t charge you anything. The park is empty right now, you are totally safe if you want to spend the whole day running around naked in the cascades, no one will bother you.’

so that’s what i did, and no one bothered me. At one point i sat in a pool of water and let hundreds of tiny little fish exfoliate my skin… Crazy, crazy sensation…

The other crazy sensation came from a ceiba tree – the tree of the Mayas, something so huge and grand the only other tree i’ve seen this huge and powerful was in northern california just this past fall… I pressed myself against it and had a soulgasm, tree power surging through me, covering me… Taking me beyond time…

On my way back I received a monumental gift from the jungle. I crossed a little bridge, and there at my feet right in the center of the trail, was an incredible feather about twelve inches long. Metallic brown with a white tip.

Gracias, gracias madre tierra, for this incredible, incredible medicine, oh my god. There was nothing I could do but hit the ground and kiss it. Nothing. Except lagrimas of joy…

As I left the park, the man who’d befriended me and let me in for free saw my gift in my hand…

My god, my god, suerte! suerte! he said, though he didn’t know what bird had given me this…

I had to wait until I got back to San Cristobal last night, where it was only seconds upon arrival that I saw my friend here on the street – the man known here as ‘The Feather Man’.

‘You must see this gift from the jungle’ I told him, and I went and got the feather…

He was speechless for a minute when he saw it.

dori, he told me, this is the tail feather of a falcon. Do you have any, ANY idea how powerful this medicine is? Do you know what kind of gift the jungle gave you?

Yes, yes, my angel, I am so aware…

and itchy.

and itchy as all heck… working with falcon medicine, i suppose it’s probably a good thing, a reminder to keep my feet on the earth to which i belong… as for my feet, however, here in san cristobal they are encased in shoes for the first time in weeks, and they’re not liking it much…

Category : Central America | Mexico | Istmo & Gulf of Mexico | Chiapas | San Cristobal de las Casas , Uncategorized