We had the honor to visit the indigenous town of Amatlán on Tuesday. We were welcomed with a great meal of sopes, and then had a talk with Nacho, a community leader who spoke to us about his life living in the village.
|Students in Amatlan|
We had good company with friends and staff members and Nacho’s words of the past had a learning impact on all of us. He taught us about many aspects of the village, Mexican history, and indigenous cosmovision. Communal, ejidal and private property are the three types of land tenure that he spoke about. Communal land is referred to as land that was never touched by the Spanish. Ejidal land is former hacienda land that was restituted to the people after the Mexican Revolution. He spoke in depth about private property and how it was an invention of oppression, which was another from of the reconquest. “We aren’t owners of the land, we are of the earth,” said Nacho. Being educated on the three types of land really gave us students a good lesson and different view on what it means to “own land,” which can also be tied in with human rights of the indigenous communities.
Nacho also told us that “the tortilla is the Eucharist we eat everyday, so that is why we sit in a circle to converse and share our stories.” Hearing him say this let helped me understand communication in a different way. Sitting in a circle is a way that represents the Christ and communality they have pride in. Nacho was a wonderful speaker and helped me understand the ways of indigenous villages in a different perspective.
|Me with a sope!|
The sopes we were served was a huge hit for the group. A sope is a corn tortilla with ridges topped with cheese, beans, and salsa. Many of us were exposed to them for the first time and think we can all agree that they are on the #1 list of foods we have tried while here in Mexico. The hospitality that we were presented with was wonderful and I think we all had a great experience.
-- Darian Peterson