Chiapas San Cristobal Day 1

I arrived this morning into San Cristobal on the 1st Class UNO bus from Mexico City.  The timetable said 16 hours but we made it here in 13.  It was a swanky ride that we slept through.  I checked into a local hotel for 160 pesos (with hot water!) and proceeded to explore the city.  Visited a Coffee Museum, found several high speed internet cafes, and ended up at Na Bolom, a restaurant, Mayan museum and hotel that was the meat of our afternoon and evening.

Na Bolom was created by Frans and Gertrude Blom, two Europeans who met and married in Mexico after WWII and ended up spending most of their lives supporting and championing the rights of the indigenous Mayan in the Lacandon Jungles of Chiapas.  The compound in San Cristobal was their base of operations and included perhaps the premier library on the study of Mayan, with many books, documents, maps and photos.  Gertrude Blom took over 55,000 photos and the collection is considered a national treasure (she was also honored by the UN for her ecological and indigenous rights work before she died in 1993).

It was nice to see the home and lives of yet another famous person here in Mexico.  Yesterday in Mexico City we visited the homes of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera (Blue House), and the last home of Leon Trotskey {Frommers Guide here} (who was assasinated with ice ax by Stalinist).  Their homes were turned into detailed and educational museums with many pictures, paintings, and a real feel for the space where they lived.

At Na Bolom I took a 2 hour guided tour of the pictures and artifacts collected and deposited at the compound.  The compound is used also as a recovery home for indigenous people, primarily new mothers who have had surgery.  I had dinner in the evening with one of the Lacandon families there to support their sister.  I have been using a lot of Spanish, and this week will start an intensive five days a week study!


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