Published: August 23rd 2007August 1st 2007
Support of Oaxaca Even in Chiapas
As you can see from this photo, Oaxaca and San Cristobal support one another. They are two of the poorest states financially in Mexico, but they both are truly rich in culture.
After a good breakfast (which will be discuss later) with Carlos' family...we were off, but this time, we didn't need to take the bus. Carlos' family offered to take us to San Cristobal de las Casas, which was a nice change of pace, so the 7 of us carefully organized ourselves in the car. Lucky for us 2 of the 7 were lap sitters, Grace on my and Johnny on his mom, Carla.
It was less than an hour, at least for us because Efren was driving. The drive from Tuxtla to San Cristobal literally lifted us into a different world. Part of the drive was through the clouds and fog. We elevated from 530m to 2160m (which will also be discuss later) during the 80km drive.
San Cristobal is the heart of one of the most deeply rooted indigenous areas in Mexico and it is a city full of tourists as well, which can be good and bad. Good because everything you need as a tourist is there, but bad because everything is much more expensive. There were very few American tourists, if any. Most of the tourists were from Europe.
Upon arrival, we said our goodbye's,
The Markets of San Cristobal
Upon arival, we immediatey headed to the market area of S.C. near the Templo de Santo Domingo.
which included tears from Grace which affected us all. Then Carlos and I were off to find a hotel. After checking in we decided to walk the city and get a layout. We had a great first few hours, even booking a tour for the next day. I should have taken it a bit slower, but didn't. After just a few hours I was starting to feel dizzy and weak so we immediately headed back to our hotel. Shortly after that it all started..."2-enders", if you know what I mean. I was vomiting up every three hours for almost 20 hours and in between...well I think you know..every hour. I could eat nor drink anything. I thought it was something I ate...some cheese at breakfast...so I thought after a good nights rest I would feel better, but that was not the case. I couldn't sleep and felt the same if not worse as the morning arrived. We had a reservation at another hotel so around 11:00 a.m. we had to change hotels. I could barely walk so we decided to cab it a few blocks. We then settled into the hotel. After a few more hours, we decided a doctor
The Markets of San Cristobal
We heard not to buy things from stores in S.C. because they actually buy the products from Guatemela and then triple the price. Always buy in the markets from the indigenous people.
visit was evident. We found a private practice through the Lonely Planet book. Most of you know that I am not a fan of doctors, injections nor pills, but in this case I did not have an option. He diagnosed me with a stomach infection and altitude sickness as well. I was given an injection and 2 different pills for the next few days. I was advised to eat something later in the day as well. I attempted chicken and rice, but as soon as we left the restaurant I vomited...yes...in the street in a blue plastic bag we were lucky to have with us. I looked like a drunk on the street and while it wasn't funny at the time...it is now and Carlos and I love to joke about it.
To make a long story shorter, by the next day I was feeling well enough to go on the tour we had already postponed the day before. I still could barely eat, but little by little and I had to take it really easy. Carlos was pretty much a solo traveler the first couple of days.
The streets of San Cristobal are lined with indigenous people
Carlos posing as EZLN-Ejericito Zapatista de Liberacion Nacional ( Zapatista National Liberation Army)
On the day of NAFTA's intiation (January 1, 1994), this previously leftist guerilla army emerged from the forests to occupy San Cristobal and other towns in the state of Chiapas. Linking anti-globalization rhetoric with Mexican revolutionary slogans their declared goal was to overturn a wealthy local oligarchy's centuries-old hold on land, resources and power and to improve the wretched living standards of Mexico's indigenous people.
selling their hand made items and tourist buying those items. It is really hard not to give the children money that either are selling itmes or singing in the streets. There was this one boy who was blind in at least one of his eyes, possibly both, and he was singing on the corner. He only knew a few words, "Te necesito", but I am sure he collected his fare share every night. I know we past him twice and both times gave him money. Both times he was polite thanking us too.
We did stay for an extra couple of days so we could enjoy the city, which we did. As you can see from the photos San Cristobal is full of life and color. We stayed for four night and five days and learned a great deal about this fascinating state. We took some incredible tours in this state as well which will be included in the next entries.
There are more photos below