So far our trip in Mexico has been inspiring, peaceful, and life changing. Our posts have documented our movements through new and exciting places. Our pictures try their best to capture the rich colors and culture that fill the space. Mexico is truly a beautiful country! Yet amid this beauty, we also see tragedy. Like many in the US and countries all around the world right now, the people of Mexico are crying out for justice and change.
“Somos todos Ayotzinapa!” “Vivos se los llevaron! Vivos los queremos!” “Faltan 43!”
“We are all Ayotzinapa!” “They took them alive, We want them back alive!” “43 missing!” We see these cries of solidarity and demands for justice painted and hung from apartment windows and in central community spaces, spray painted on almost every wall including those of the famous Santo Domingo church, and yelled in unison at rallies and events. Since September 26th, Mexico has been mourning the disappearance of 43 young student teachers from a school in Iguala, Guerrero called Ayotzinapa. Some blame the drug cartels. Some blame the Mayor and his wife who fled the day after the news broke. Some blame the federal government. One local Oaxacan we spoke with during a language exchange wasn’t buying any of these accusations. “It’s too obvious. Corrupt government and police working with the narcos to terrorize the people… The students are alive. I can feel it. Something bigger is going on.” Speculation fills the air and activism fills the streets as people search for answers. One thing is certain on all sides- everyone wants them back alive and everyone wants justice and accountability.
Yes, Mexico has crime, corruption, and tragedy. Is it more unsafe than the US or any other country? Who knows. But being here, living here, talking to people, and walking in the streets, we don’t feel that’s true. We often can see a glimmer of a silver lining amidst the anguish- people embracing each other no matter their political party, beautiful and compassionate music and art being created in honor of the lost, and ordinary people finding their voice and power. And so we’ll say it again- Mexico is truly a beautiful country!