Oaxaca, Mazunte, the Zapatista village Oventic, Campeche and Cancun

Hello dear readers. Here we come to the last but one post. In fact, my journey is almost ending. I’m now in Cancun, from where tomorrow I’ll fly to legendary Cuba!

I recap the last days. From San Cristobal, I went to Oaxaca, a lovely city, where I met with Ketty, a friend from my hometown (Benevento), and her mate Gianluca. We visited the ruins of Monte Alban, the most important city of the Toltecs.
Then, we went to sea in the village Mazunte, a bit ‘south of Puerto Escondido. We didn’t do many baths because the sea was rough, as often on the Pacific side. However, the sweet laziness of the town shrouded us pleasantly for few days.
In the next village, San Agustin, we sat for a couple of hours in front of spectacular waves higher about 3 meters. On the beach of Zipolite, it seemed as if just passed a tsunami because a few days before some storms had caused enormous damage.

I went back to San Cristobal with them, and we visited Oventic, a small village about an hour by road, under control of the Zapatistas. On the wooden houses of the community, artistic murals are praising the EZLN and the revolution.

After, I left Ketty and Gianluca, and I moved towards the Yucatan. I stopped one day in Campeche, a tidy city with colorful houses, a beautiful promenade, and walls and bastions built after countless pirate attacks.

Now I’m in Cancun, a very touristic place where I had already been fifteen years ago. Walking the streets, I can’t figure out if I remember it or if I confuse with other tourist cities made ​​with the same stencil, perhaps on another continent or planet. Only the sea is really admirable, even the beaches are almost all fake, with the sand brought from elsewhere. Another problem: to reach the beach, often I need to pass through luxurious hotels full of rich ugly gringos(*).

(*) “Gringos” is the way in Central America the U.S.A citizens are called. It comes from “green go”, directed to the marines.


The church of Chamula, a town near San Cristobal, is one of the most evocative places visited during this trip. Inside, there is an evident syncretism between the Catholic religion and the ancient Mayan traditions. Unfortunately, it was not allowed to take pictures.
Dark, bare of decorations – the only are large flakes of colored cloth hanging from the ceiling. The floor is covered with pine needles and candles around which sit and pray the faithful, some of them with a chicken to sacrifice. By the walls, all around, there are tables with candles and statues of saints, often dressed in bright colors. There isn’t the altar, and the place of honor, on the top center, is reserved for St. John, patron of the city (San Juan de Chamula). Jesus himself is located in a less visible position, on the left side.
Before leaving San Cristobal, I saw in the museum of Mayan medicine that these rituals have specific rules, such as the number and color of candles to light, depending on whether it is to cast the evil eye, or be protected from envy, to heal from a disease, etc… Rituals handed down orally for thousands of years.


The entrance to the church.






Oaxaca street.




Inside Oaxaca market.


Oaxaca market.


Monte Alban, near Oaxaca. For over a millennium, it was the most important city of the Toltecs. Founded around 500 BC, reached in the early centuries AD a population between 15,000 and 30,000 inhabitants. It was abandoned around 750 A.D.


Ketty on the south steps of Monte Alban.


The monastery of Apostle Santiago, near Oaxaca. Beautiful, but, unfortunately, without a roof. It was never completed!


The Mazunte beach, near Puerto Escondido. The waves were almost arriving at my room.


I’ll have another beer with friends. There will be a better time for swimming.


Again in San Cristobal. Three old ladies.


The sign in front of Oventic, the village under Zapatista control.


At the entrance, the Zapatistas ask some general questions to check what visitors know about the EZLN. Sometimes they keep with them the passports during the visit. To me, Ketty and Gianluca just asked name, nationality, and profession, and, a few minutes later, we were allowed in. Anyway, in case, we were very knowledgeable!


The Zapatistas take their name from Emiliano Zapata, a leader of the Mexican Revolution of 1910.


Woman and child.


Zapatista primary school.


A little girl of the village.


Another little girl.


“Happiness doesn’t come by itself. Let’s walk to happiness”.


A sculpture in front of Campeche cathedral.


Campeche street.


Mexican cloud.

See you next time for the last episode!

In San Cristobal and its surroundings, Chiapas, Mexico

Hi friends! I’m in Oaxaca, Mexico, where I arrived after a few days in San Cristobal de las Casas, the lovely city in Chiapas known for having been occupied in 1994 by the Zapatista Army of Liberation national (EZLN).

The occupation took place on the same day of the catastrophic economic agreement NAFTA with the United States and Canada. An agreement that, soon after, brought even more misery for the poor and the indigenous in Mexico.
After several armed clashes with the Mexican army and some accords with the government (rarely respected by the latter), the EZLN announced the cessation of armed struggle except for strictly defensive reasons. They invited all revolutionary leftist movements of the world to unite in solidarity and to work together to resist neoliberalism, as declared in their last official statement, in June 2005, the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle.
Some municipalities in Chiapas are under their control.

San Cristobal is charming, with narrow cobbled streets, colorful houses, colonial churches, and indigenous women in colorful dresses carrying their children on the shoulder. All of Chiapas looks fantastic.

Now I am in Oaxaca, which I visited already fifteen years ago. I met a friend from my hometown (Benevento), Ketty, and her mate, Gianluca. But I will tell you about this in my next post.


A few more photos of Guatemala, in the Chichicas market, about 20 km north Lake Atitlan.


Mother and sons.




On the steps of the church.




Market colors.


The main square in Cristobal de las Casas, Chapas, Mexico. The city is situated at 2200 meters altitude and is surrounded by mountains.


Woman bringing her son on the back.




Sometimes people in Chiapas don’t like to be photographed, like this sprightly old lady that got upset.


A street of San Cristobal.


Chickens at the market.


A woman at the market.


Gentlemen dressed in a very particular way in Tenejapa, one of the villages around San Cristobal.


I went there with two Italian guys, and, shortly after, an odd guy insisted on being our guide. But he couldn’t speak English, nor Italian. Actually, not even Spanish (as also us, by the way). Here is asking for a generous tip. We still haven’t understood for what.


People in Tenejapa.




Little boys.




Sister and brother.


Back in San Cristobal, a little girl at the market.




On the streets, cute little girls sell souvenirs. From this one, I bought a Subcomandante Marcos pen-shaped.


Little girl selling zebras.


Other little girls.


Next time I’ll put some photos of San Juan Chamula, a village near San Cristobal, and Oaxaca.

Hasta luego! :-)


I answer the comment.
Hi Kaliopi! My camera is Canon 450d. At the end is nothing of special, it is not even considered semi-pro, but just amateur, and now is 4 years old.
I use 2 lens: Canon 28-135 and Sigma 10-20.
I’m shooting in RAW that gives more flexibility in the post-processing. And of course I use a little of Photoshop, especially for contrast and sharpening.
Let me know if you need more info.
Thank you, kisses… I hope to meet you again somewhere! :-)