Viva Zapatistas!!


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Published: February 14th 2011
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Go to chiapas, everyone told me, THE place to be. Noone could actually tell me what was so cool about it but
they mentioned two things, San Christobal and Palenque. The rainbow festival was about to be held in Palenque too, so I thought it would be a good idea to get there. We never made it to the festival, it was moved to some other weekend, the organisation team got arrested, whatever. I pretty much had enough of
the beaches of Oaxaca, so we went to the lovely town of Pachutla to get a night bus to San christobal.

Yeah that didnt work, no buses, no seats at least not for six people but we also did not want to stay here, instead we took a bus towards San Christobal. Actually we took 4 different busses, hung out in some random towns, which names I cannot pronounce and made it in only 11 hours including a couple of stop overs and some healthy brigh orange lunch in Tuxla.

So here we were, San christobal de las Casas, home of the Zapatista movement, Subcommandante Marcos. We stayed in a lovely hostel which we were not able to leave the next day as the police decided to move the mayans to another market further away from the tourists, and we all know this is where the money is.
So the whole thing got a bit out of hand, riot police moving in, a helicopter circleing our heads, people running through the streets, that kind of out of hand buisness. We all stayed in, played shithead, got drunk and went out later.

Surely you dont want to piss of the locals by taking pictures of the mayan population, fine, I understand that, but the guy shouting at me because I took some pics of stencils (and there are soooo many) not sure what he was on about. Of course there is a lot of stuff to see, for the traveler with money in their pockets,
like some waterfalls, the canyon, or visiting a mayan village or zapatista farm. But the latter too
are for those who can speak spanish already, so also not for us....

for us budget travellers it was a bit more difficult. But still, there is the market, and then there is el puente, a spanish language school that shows, zapatista movies, defineatly worth a visit. Even more the fanshop of the zaptista army
(Ejercito Zapatista de Liberacion National, EZLN : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zapatista_Army_of_National_Liberation)
right next door that is only opened at night, here you find anything that a lefty heart could desire. Cups, blankets, postcards, calenders, these cute little dolls of the sisters of rebellion, AK-47 in one hand baby in the other, classic!There are also many hiking opportunities, we took a cab u p the hill to the radio tower,
walked around and ended up in the middle of zapatista territory. But nothing to worry about,
just some farms and barking dogs but no revolutionaries.

We decided to give Palenque a miss (having heard about the arrests) and decided to spend new years
in San Christobal. Strangers shared there mexcal with us, offerd (and of course accepted) mayan liquor. Bought some flares and celebrated with strangers at the town square. Good time dancing in the night with locals stopping and taking pictures of the gringoes celebrating the new year.


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