Flying sheets of paper | “There are peaches in the orchard and pears on the hillside” – El Sol de México

Now that drones or images obtained from some satellite that looks towards the earth and peek at us humans to see what we do, how and when… (Gulp!), from up there many vehicles will be seen that cross cities, streets, sidewalks, gaps, plains, deserts, beaches, jungles, forests, ravines… uhhhh… the whole world where there is land… or that go on highways that carry and bring “a ship loaded with…”

And, from space, you can surely see a tiny gray vehicle with a punt, which is a family van and travels roads that look like endless serpentines deposited on the ground; full of curves – “that go up and down, that lead to the plan”.

There we go enthralled with the journey that will lead us to the distant mountain where no horseman is seen riding and many men and women and elderly and children on foot who day by day there, in that distant distance, work hard, they make a lot of effort and fight for subsistence, life… and to be happy.

They are people of work and grace who give themselves to their work with enormous cordiality and strength. They are people who have decided to make their lives in paradise… or almost paradise.

It all started at seven in the morning on a cold and rainy Saturday. Foggy. We left on time for a place near the sky called Tlahuitoltepec, which is in the Mixe region of the state of Oaxaca. And it is certain that this distance from the madding crowd has preserved him in his own dignity and strength.

The Fraternal Gang travels in the gray truck with a punt. It already crosses the first exit of the Central Valleys passing through early Tlacolula, then Mitla with its ancestral pre-Hispanic ruins and in which Zapotec art shines, shines and causes splendor.

Next is Matatlán, the land of Oaxacan mezcal, which has, along with San Baltazar Guelavila, where mezcal beans are also cooked.

In the advance, from the road, the majestic mountains that protect the valleys that give seat to the capital of Oaxaca and its neighboring historical cities, made and embroidered by hand of culture, history, tradition and the pride of being and being today are perceived. , heirs of a lineage made of dignity.

Along the way we discover the immensity of nature, the grandeur of the sky that meets the earth and lights up with the deep green of the foliage: “Green, I love you green…”

Already in the heart of the mountains, we advance and pass fearfully next to cliffs that are walls of earth and reddish stone. Some landslides make us see the rocks that demanded their freedom, and pomegranate-colored stones and sand. We passed safely because the will is safe and the cousin-brother who knows the Oaxacan roads “from pe-to-pa” is sure.

Clouds laden with contained rain hide the sky. There is medium fog. Some cold is perceived on the outside of the truck-grey with a batea and a lot of vegetation that includes a colorful forest.

We arrived in two hours at Tamazulapam. It is a town of fresh air and transparent view. On top of the mountains and already in the Mixe territory. Located in the Municipality of Tamazulápam del Espíritu Santo. It has something like 4,000 inhabitants and is 2,065 meters above sea level. This is: a look from the roofs of Oaxaca.

The place is tired. Smooth. Airy. With houses like small fortresses, but also wooden houses as a result of being in the middle of the pine forests that fill the hills, the mountains, the road. The smell can not be other than the fragrance of those pines and the fragrance of guavas, walnuts and, incidentally, the aroma of firewood that awaits under tin roofs.

[A lo largo del camino se percibe, también, la influencia del poder y el más poder: una candidata –o aspirante a serlo por obra y gracia del Palacio Nacional- aparece aquí o allá, multiplicada en las paredes, en los grandes anuncios espectaculares, en postes y ventanas, muros y esquinas: “Yo AMLO a Claudia” … “Es Claudia” se lee en obvia contaminación visual del lugar.]

When the market is empty, we go to a small place with just two communal tables and pewter dishes placed around on storage rooms that are wooden planks, we enjoy a tasty coffee that at first sight seems transparent but that taste and aroma is a delight, along with some yellow mole tamales. A delicacy that no five Michelin star restaurant could match.

And while they are pears or perons, we enjoy that little place with local people who also enjoy the food and who speak and speak and speak in Mixe. What do they say?

Nobody from the Fraternal Gang knows it, although we perceive that when they speak they do not make gestures, not even to know the intention of what they say, but rather a song of birds that sings “we are the owners of here, traveler, do not forget it” . And yes: then they smile at us: we passed the test! and smiling we enjoyed with them the coffee with the aroma of Tamazulápam.

And walking truck-grey-with punt, walking. We continue along a narrow and very curved road that has a peculiarity: it is lined with pines, cedars, and fruit trees that are peaches and that are pears and that are medlars and that are guavas and that are the sweet and happy look of the Mixe life that tells us ‘keta va’ando’ (Welcome!).

Who lives there? How do they live there? Without a doubt there are inhabitants here or there, where small houses are perceived among the forests and on the slopes of the mountains. They live in the clouds. They live in heaven. They are the proud mixes and never conquered by foreign forces.

We are here. We are at the finish line: Even higher, stronger, further: it is Tlahuitoltepec. Originally called Xaamkëjxpëtt, which means place or space of tranquility conducive to reflection and dialogue with nature. Then with a Nahuatl name it is made up of the words “tlahuitolli” that is arch, “tepetl” that is hill and the locative “-c”, which could be: Arch that is on the hill…

There is a hustle and bustle because it is Saturday and it is market day, when local vendors come down from nearby ranches and fields to offer their products, fruits in abundance: pears, apples of such size and color that they would be the envy of Eva in paradise.

There are fresh vegetables. There are chickens and hens on foot. There are different seeds. There are beans of such a size that the Spanish fabes remain small compared to their proportion. There are aromas of delight. There are colors beyond the colorful range that we know; and there is, above all, human warmth.

Women and men who with all dignity expose their products on boards, boxes or on the floor on plastic. And yes, very suspicious. They count and count the coins; they take care of the buyer’s hands to avoid the temptation of misappropriation.

Some of them wear outfits in the cultural tradition of the Mixes: a long white skirt made of thick woolen cloth, a colorful shirt or blouse, almost always red or cherry, a petticoat that protrudes from the waist, embroidered and flowery… On their heads a plaited fabric that gives them a particular elegance…

They speak in their language. Without continence. They talk-talk-talk. And we want to know what they say, but no. If there are happy looks in return. And when we speak to some of them in Spanish, they do not understand us and so we use the universal language: smiles and signs.

They treat us well. They look at us cordially. We buy some things that they offer us as we pass by and we enjoy their “don’t fool me because I’m pissed off” looks. So all good and full of their products that are life, especially the pasilla mixes chilies. Small and tasty… That’s it. Your sauces. Its aromas reminiscent of the great moles of the Oaxacan land…

We left with a great desire to spend more time there, in the Mixe mountains, in the land that is only theirs and for them; in the land where they are gentlemen, ladies, elders, children of respect, affection, affection and full embrace. They are there, in the mountains, close to the sky, which they touch just by stretching out their hand.

The return is the same. The novelty on the front is that we carry in our memory and in our senses a day loaded with pages to remember, without forgetting: Nts j kypts mejts (I love you). Mitztemoa noyollo. (I miss you). Nitao (See you soon)

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