I spent close to 24 hours en route from my home in Montville, Maine in order to get to Mexico City. It took a ride in the trunk of my friend´s suburu station wagon, a quick bus ride from portland to boston, a little talking to the Continental Airlines agent (who almost didnt let me on the plane because my passport is apparently too tattered), and two long flights....but I made it through immigration without problems.
While desending into DF, I took my eyes off my reading material to glance out the plane´s window. Shock doesnt quite do justice to explain the emotions that raced through my heart at the sight before me. The night sky that I am so accostomed to in Montville was flipped before my eyes. There was not a star to be seen, instead the city lights stretched as far as the eye can see. I have never in my life seen such immense human impact. dense urbanization until the horizon and beyond. and as the plane continued towards the tarmac, i understood why my friend holds this place so close to her heart....we are in a place of mass humanity. art and diversity is in every corner. plants break through the concrete. artesanos dance in the zocolo. revolutionary love emerges from unexpected places. Mexico is everything and nothing that i thought it would be.
Today, Tennessee and I met her comrade from CACTUS. Betty is a mother, sister, daughter, organizer and freedom fighter. Her energy and spirit are clearly rooted in visions and dreams for a better Mixteca, Oaxaca, Mexico and world. Betty sees through the facades of neoliberalism because of her profound experiences of living with the economic, political and cultural hardships that the ideology has brought to her community. The world would be a more loving place if there were more people like this woman.
Despite traveling all morning with her two children that she hadnt seen for a month, Betty spent hours with Tennessee and I this morning. She brought us up to date on her specific situation and the political repression that her people are enduring.
She told us of journalists "accidently" dying and families trying to get their children and parents out of jail. Betty also said that Governor Ulises Ruiz came to Huajuapan de Leon (in la Mixteca) this past weekend. His visit required 1,000 federal police. I guess the people are just a little fed up with the man.
Betty also shared with us her vision of our trip and what CACTUS would like us to document in our time here. We hopefully will be working with Mixtecan families who have members in jail.
There is so much more to tell. But now we must be off to our bus that will take us to La Mixteca.