Cielito Lindo, Adelita y Vive Zapata

20 11 2012
Mexico- Fed. Armored train (LOC)

Mexico- Fed. Armored train (LOC) (Photo credit: The Library of Congress)

Statue of Celia Sanchez in Media Luna

Statue of Celia Sanchez in Media Luna (Photo credit: Male Gringo)

Viva Zapata!, film poster

Viva Zapata!, film poster (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bienvenido to the Home of the Revolution.  The first full-scale Revolution of the 20th century had taken place in Mexico beginning in 1910.  That’s right they were ahead of the Russians.  Why was Trotsky in Mexico?  I know about Frida and Diego but he was invited and welcomed by President Lazaro Cardenas before staying as guest and lover  in Mexico City. Cardenas’ influence in Mexico is one of the most positive socialist influences if not the most positive in Mexico. He’s gone now and the people of Mexico honor him although most politicians and the business-minded do not.

It’s against Mexican law for an American or any ex-pat to participate in an anti-government protest activity. I had been warned to stay away yesterday but inadvertently I was walking down Pasejo Montejo as the parade headed toward El Centro. There they were dressed in Vestido Tipicos – my childhood heroes from “Viva Zapata” – the Zapatistas (no Marlon though) sitting atop an ersatz railroad car accompanied by their Adelitas singing “Ai Ai Yai Ai”. If I could have done it without penalty I would have jumped up there to join them in “Cielito Lindo.”

Besides the geography here’s another connection between Mexico and Cuba – Women in War.

women at war

The Adelitas or Las Soldaderas of the 1910 Revolution were the forerunners of the all-women Mariana Grajales Platoon formed by Castro at the urging of his secretary and mistress Celia Sanchez.

Celia Sanchez

Now that we are clued in on this history I will tell you that the new nickname for my novia Vicky is Adelita.  If you ever meet her you’ll know why.  La Fuerza del mundo esta en las mujeres.  The strength of the world is in the women.  Now if only the men would give up the power.


Back From The Dead and Dzibitchaltun

7 11 2012

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So silence is what happens when the health goddess decides she is angry with a blogger? Bouts with food poisoning and knee issues knocked me down so that El Dia de la Muerte came and went without a glance or a nod from yours truly.  I’ve experienced guilt but being guilty over not blogging was a new one.  It’s not that the audience is huge or waiting with bated breath but I had in my mind that some of you might have been thinking – Oh he’s one of those who came for a couple of months gushed enthusiastically and then went back to the states.  No such luck, folks, I’m here for the duration.

What with the knee I haven’t gotten to see as much of the Yucatan as I had hoped by now.  However, I was able to visit Dzibitchaltun several weeks ago.  Maybe that’s where I got in trouble with the gods. I didn’t honor Ix Chel(goddess of medicine) while swimming in the cenote although I did have the distinct feeling that I was in an ancient place similar to Sacsayhuaman near Cusco, Peru. I just hope that Ixtab (goddesss of suicide) didn’t see me in the cenote. One legend has it that she lures men into the forest and they never come back or if they do they come back crazy. A kinder gentler legend tells of her accompanying the dead on their way to paradise and feeding them under the Yaaxché, tree of life commonly depicted as the Ceiba.  By the way suicides, warrior deaths and deaths in childbirth were thought of as being of equal merit in the Maya culture.

Surveying the trees blowing in the breeze at Dzibilchaltun I couldn’t help but feel the long ago nature of the place where religious rites were held and the cenote recognized as a passage to the underworld.  It is a peaceful place where the spirit of the Maya can be felt. When the knee gets better I’ll go back and honor those dioses de Maya I didn’t know about the first time.

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