Cowboys and Indians
I went to San Vicente, Mexico last week with the Mision De Candelilla team. The village of 120 people is spread along several miles of the Rio Grande (they call it the Rio Bravo) just south of Big Bend National Park, right across from the southern tip of the big bend in the river. The team has provided health care in seven villages in that area for 28 years, although this trip was simply to say we care about you with gifts from families here to families there. This remote place is at the end of hours of barely passable dirt road, after some not so good paved road, so there aren’t a lot of visitors, much less drug trafficking or related violence . If you happen to come upon a vehicle driving the other direction, both groups stop and get out and say hello, because you probably know each other. We slept on folding cots and the ‘facilities’ are a privy.
Many of the people look more like Indians from photos two centuries ago, others like modern Mexican citizens. Many make their living as cowboys riding horses. The only electricity for over a 100 miles comes from a car battery charged by a solar panel at each adobe house, most provided by the government. Therefore, there aren’t any lights late at night, and no television, and no cell phone signals or internet access, no store, no gas station. They do drive pickup trucks, and must have a cooperative effort to have gasoline available. There are lots of children, the people are shy but friendly, the home-cooked food we had was amazing.
I wasn’t sure what I could add to the trip, but found my niche as the photographer. The other people on the team were awesome and we had lots of sharing. I haven’t shaved off the beard started there (yet, and have never had this much beard in my life!) I can’t wait to go back. New experiences like that really help my creativity and reinforce my understanding of it is better to give than to receive.
There are more pictures on the Mision De Candelilla Facebook page.