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French Pan-Am Runners Matthieu and Ludo

French Pan-Am Runners Matthieu and Ludo

There we were in the remote mountains south of Oaxaca, grinding up a big climb, and here comes Ludo, obviously a gringo, happily and easily running up the grade with a 20 pound backpack, making better time than we were. We stopped to chat, and it turned out that Ludo and Matthieu are running from Mexico City all the way to Patagonia! And they're planning only 10 months for the trip. They know that that's not enough time and they will be taking some buses on some sections, but they're making pretty fine time!  read more here... lee mas aquí... »

Donde Estamos - 1 de Junio, 2007


Where we are - June, 2007
Ya estamos (por fín) en el sur de México, a la costa de Oaxaca, en la ciudad de Juchitán. Hemos pasado casi cuatro meses y llevamos 4100 kilómetros en el país. Casi vamos a ser mexicanos. Hemos progresado mas despacio que habíamos pensado -- al principio pensamos que pasaríamos por todo México en tres meses, y ya todaviá estamos caminando después de cuatro. Pero ha sido maravilloso, y vamos a extrañar México much cuando pasamos a Guatemala. ¿Cómo vamos a vivir sin la rica comida de México, y la gente tan amigable?

Hay fotos nuevos en la página de fotos- o puedes cliquear aquí para aceso directo.

Where we are - Early June, 2007

Where we are - June, 2007

Well, it's early June, and we're (finally) in the south of Mexico, in the bottom of the southern state of Oaxaca (wah-HAH-kah). We've been in Mexico for almost four full months and have come about 2500 miles (4100 km). That's a lot slower than we expected - we thought we'd cover all of Mexico in about three months, and here we're still riding after four. But we've had an absolutely wonderful time, and we will miss Mexico dearly when we leave it. How are we going to live without all that incredible variety of outstanding food?

There are new pictures on the photos page - or you can go to this direct link..

A Very Organized Community

Don't throw trash - Health is Life.
We had a delightful day on a forgotten highway on the way to the city of Oaxaca - The newer toll road was much more direct (and probably easier) but we had heard that this one was a great ride, so we took the old "free" road. It was delightful, climbing along a ridge through high forests and incredibly organized communities.

We saw clean highways, trash receptacles everywhere, and signs reminding everyone of their civic duty. This sign says "Take care of nature - don't throw trash. Health is LIfe." I can tell you we've seen some very trashed communities and highways at times in Mexico, and it was so amazing that this region had taken it in mind to put an end to this.

They also told us they have a community highway trash pickup every two months! We were impressed.

Mexican Billboards

Mexican Billboard
We don't see many billboards on the back highways of Mexico, but what we do see, every day, are the wonderful, colorful advertisements you see painted on the rock wall behind Nancy. They're all done by hand, but talented painters, who must be quite plentiful in Mexico, because there are *current* signs everywhere, for musical events, bullfights, all-star wrestling. During election seasons, there are lots of them for political candidates, too. We love to see the colorful art, and it's a pleasure when we see one of the painters. This one is for a musical extravaganza in a nearby town.

Down into the Tomb! Cerro de la Campana

Nancy down in the tomb at Cerro de la Campana
Our last day into Oaxaca City was a pretty easy one, so we didn't get started too early. Then about 2 miles into the ride we saw a sign that said "Santiago Suchilquitongo - Visit our tomb and museum!". Well, Santiago Suchilquitongo wasn't in our guidebook and we had no idea what to expect, but Nancy was game and we rode in.

A few questions and we found that we had to ride up a steep hill to get to the tomb. So we did. Then a few more questions and we found we had to hike up a much longer steep hill to get to the tomb. So we found a friend to watch the bikes and started up. It turned out to be a pretty good distance.

Video: Traditional Wedding Procession in Oaxaca

We were just visiting museums today, and were near the beautiful Santo Domingo church here in Oaxaca, Mexico, and we saw a lot of preparations... for something. It turned out that a wedding was concluding and the procession was getting ready. And we got to see (and follow) the most wonderful wedding procession, complete with dancers and "marmotas" (the huge dancing dolls you'll see in the video.)

One of the things we really like about Mexico is how celebrations are shared with the public. At home, a wedding is just for the people invited to it, but here, they make a way for everybody to partake of at least some of it. Even we got to follow the dancers through the streets of Oaxaca.

Gloria Hernandez: An interview with an entrepreneur

Gloria Hernandez Torres
outside the Cholula Market

We've recently found out about Kiva.org, a website that arranges microloans (very small business loans) directly between first-world lenders and third-world borrowers. We've made our first loan (to farmer Samuel Amilla in Ecuador) and are pursuing an application to become "Kiva Fellows," essentially field communication volunteers for the organization. We're tremendously excited about the possibility and are filling out the application. We hope you'll take a look at their site and make your first loan too!

One part of the "Kiva Fellow" application calls for us to interview an small-business entrepreneur concerning their business and write a journal entry regarding it. Here's our interview with Gloria Hernandez Torres, who we met selling "molotes" at the door to the market in Cholula, Puebla, Mexico.
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