Central America | Mexico | Istmo & Gulf of Mexico | Chiapas – The Panacea
Other than the church, the most powerful figure in the village of Chamula was the shaman. In his house, a TV, VCR, and stuff Garfield stood next to the ‘shrine’ displaying the Mayan religious symbol ‘tree of life’, a statuette of Virgin Mary, and clay figurines of the 4 animals that symbolize ones incarnated spirit. On the walls are pictures of the White House, a receipt from the Marriott Hotel, and a picture of the shaman with President Bush on his 1991 visit to the States.
The shaman was the firmest believer of the slogan ‘always the real thing, always Coca-cola’. According to him, the drink is a panacea that rids one of his internal evil spirit through the burps. So whether they are inflicted with a cold or a tumor, the villagers would always reach for that red-capped glass bottle before anything else. Consequently, every person in the village has bad teeth and weakened bones. The shaman apparently never addressed that problem. After all, whats a couple fallen teeth compared to the demon that resides within.
The coke vendor became the richest man in the village, built a nice new house, and bought a brand new Ford Explorer. Following his footsteps, another villager started selling Pepsi, which according to the shaman is an equally good elixir. The stores are right across the street from each other and the owners are, needless to say, not exactly friends. Perhaps it’s time for the marketing teams at Coke and Pepsi to pay the shaman a visit.