Mar 16, 2006

Catemaco Women

Although rockets sparkle the sky on this International Day of Women in beautiful downtown Catemaco, Veracruz, the status of many women here is not much above the status of a favorite horse. Many Gringos, especially the older ones who seek shelter in Mexico from their incompetence in the USA, consider Mexican women LBFM´s (littlebrownfuckingmachines) based on their acquaintance with the result of the failure of Mexican women´s participation in their country`s economic and social development.

Women in Mexico gained the right to vote in federal elections in 1947. Civil rights for women in 2006, although included in various federal & state legislations are still lacking in judicial applications. Customary women´s rights in the rural areas of Mexico are similar to the Taliban regime in Afghanistan without the head dress.

Although laws exist to prohibit the applications, traditionally, women cannot inherit property, and in essence become chattel of their first born sons.

Only a few years ago, Mexican law acknowledged marital rape as a crime. Physical wife abuse is still one of the primary reasons for deployment of police forces in Mexico and Los Tuxtlas and usually still results in legal avoidance.

Child sale or trade still occurs, especially of female babies. But, fortunately, Mexico´s extreme effort to end the spiraling population curve has produced satisfying results in the decrease of that particularly nasty curve. Pre-natal and child care is barely above minimal international levels.

Psychologically, many Mexicans are dependent on ownership of their “tierra” as a fountain for their identity, especially among native peoples; and as a consequence, the Mexican government politically is obligated to retain rural people on their “tierra” and supports them via numerous hand outs, leaving mostly women holding the “so called farm”. In many cases it is the women of Catemaco who are heavily impacted by their men´s migration to greener pastures, both within Mexico and the USA, and they depend on their husband´s transmission of monies to stay alive, and , if not, “man” the hundreds of vendor stands for their survival.

On this day, the International Day of Women, aside from all women everywhere, I especially salute those women of Catemaco and Los Tuxtlas, who maintained their families, struggled within the ingrained Mexican bureaucracy and SURVIVED.

Mar 15, 2006

Catemaco fish

I just made my weekly visit to "El Caracol" a tiny roadside seafood place on the road out of Catemaco to Playa Azul, and jealously eyed the 3 pound Tilapia fish my neighbor was eating and I bitched to the owner about serving me Tilapias the size of children shoes.

Apparently the big fish eater had brought his own fish!!! And where did he get it? He is the head honcho in a Mexican federal breeding facility down the road near Coxcoapan. And he told the sad tale of ,"Ripley´s Believe it or NOT", 3,500 registered fishermen on Laguna Catemaco. At present Laguna Catemaco is totally overfished. If a fisherman (almost no women) catches something shoe size, it is almost a hoarded treasure. The central market abounds with minnow size tilapias, and it is Tlacotalpan and other areas that provide restaurant size fish. Several years of efforts to establish some fishing laws for the laguna, including seasons, sizes, etc., have so far been torpedoed by the local fishing gods.

Mar 9, 2006

Catemaco hole in the ground

Living in beautiful downtown Catemaco, Veracruz, I tend to take the surrounding volcanoes as scenery.Today I ventured into Google Earth and tilted my environment a little.
Apparently, there is no Volcano Santa Marta, or anything like that. Apparently a zillion years ago, the entire landscape blew up and left a giant hole with a few remnants hills like Santa Marta, Yohualtajapan, etc. Considering the earthquakes in the Veracruz area in the last few months, I am getting all excited about "living on the edge".

Mar 6, 2006

Catemaco love bites

Running your hands across the sweet skin of your partner is one of the pleasures of a communal relationship.

Running your hand across a bunch of slightly infected bumps is another story. Pinolillos (seed ticks) are a menace in Los Tuxtlas. These tiny seed ticks own pastures and every cow that walks them. AND, unfortunately, they will attack most humans that walk the pastures, ususually within their underwear. AND, even more unfortunate, it is hard to avoid pastures when walking across country.

I have had some success with "DEEP WOODS OFF" and would recommend that product to anyone visiting mother nature beyond beautiful downtown Catemaco. Meanwhile, after the above precaution, the next best thing is a mutual thorough scrub in the shower after a walk on the wild side, while scraping off these tiny monsters with your fingernails.

If these minute little buggers have a chance to grow inside the skin they can produce some serious boils. Generally, they are not known to to transmit any particular disease, except for a damn itch.

Mar 5, 2006

Brujo Tourism

The first Friday in March is a world wide event celebrating the arrival of spring.
The event in beautiful downtown Catemaco, Veracruz is absolutely nothing special except for the inheritance of the dead Gonzalo Gueixpal´s black masses propelling of Catemaco´s brujos to the forefront of worldwide publicity.
Yes, the area is haunted by auras of spiritual powers, especially within its political hallows, where evoking a favorite dead politician is still the norm.The mostly mestizo population of Catemaco, 42,500 out of 43,000 has as much in common with its indigenous ancestry as any recently arrived Gringo.
Forgotten original native populations of the southern Los Tuxtlas, who have now been relegated to a micro region called Las Olmecas, still profess, practice and live mysticism on a daily basis, which has absolutely no relation to the trash that is portrayed on the tourist streets of Catemaco as indigenous wisdom.
Nevertheless, just because Mickey Mouse never existed does not mean that Disney World is a fraud. Catemaco DOES have a publicized history of witchcraft (brujos).

Any enterpreneur would take advantage of this situation. If this were the good old USA, there would be brujo breakfasts, brujo over flights of Los Tuxtlas, brujo dive tours of the Laguna and coast, brujo table dancers, brujo weekend packages for less than a day´s stay at La Finca, brujo weddings, and municipal politicians aligned on every road instead of brujo shills.

More: Brujos of Catemaco