Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Christmas Lunch and Zapatistas

Once back in San Cristobal, we did a walking tour of the local markets, back streets, as well as visiting the Zapatista Centre.  This was a cafe, museum and small shop that sold craft and art work from the local indigenous people.  Unfortunately the Museum was closed.  I was particularly interested in this as in my previous subject at Uni (Social Change) I had written an essay on the Zapatistas.

Sub Commander Marcos
San Cristobal was the town where the EZLN (Zapatista Army of National Liberation) or Zapatistas for short, commenced their campaign of fighting for the rights of the local indigenous peoples.  Their leader was and still is Sub-Commander Marcos.

  The Zapatistas briefly took control of the town in 1994, they were arguing against the free-trade agreement with the US, which made it difficult for local indigenous corn growers to sustain their well-being. Though the Zapatista's methods were controversial to say the least, they definitely brought the plight of the indigenous people to the world's attention, and to this day they are still a very active political group.They were the first group of revolutionaries that used the Internet to spread the word of their fight, and through this campaign they received support from all corners of the world. They were also one of the first groups in Mexico that gave equal rights to women and highlighted the position of women in Mexico society.  They are still very active in Chiapas.  There was a lot of their merchandise available and many incidences of political slogans painted on walls. We were going to witness more evidence of this in our next days travel.

After our walking tour, we had worked up quite an appetite and it was time for "Christmas Lunch".  Johanna took us to a local restaurant that served traditional food and we all enjoyed huge bowls of soup accompanied by fresh avocado, chopped up chillies, onions and tortillas.  So different to what we were used to eating for Christmas lunch.  Tasty all the same!

After lunch it was time for the traditional Christmas afternoon sleep!!  and back in our rooms there was some good news!!  HOT WATER in our showers!!

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