Monday, February 15, 2016

En la Calzada de Cuauhtémoc, in el Barrio de la Trinidad de las Huertas

my street corner

For two weeks, I am living on the Calzada de Cuauhtémoc in the Barrio de la Trinidad de las Huertas
on the outskirts of Oaxaca. My address is significant because it is one of the few streets that I have encountered that bears the name of an indigenous historical personage. Cuauhtémoc, a nephew of Montezuma and the last Aztec emperor, refused to surrender to Cortéz and his Spaniards but was eventually executed in 1522. He is a symbol to the indigenous people of  strength and endurance in the face of adversity.
Opening the lock is probably my greatest adversity.

After the Spaniards conquered Tenochtitlan (Mexico City), they heard that the source of the Aztec gold was in the land of the Zapotecs and Mixtecs. Since these peoples had always paid tribute to the Aztecs anyway, they offered little resistance. Unfortunately between 1532 and 1650, the indigenous population declined from 1.5 million to 150,000 due to disease and overwork. My barrio, La Trinidad
de las Huertas was the area where the workers lived. It was also where many of the gardens that fed the colonial city were located.
I am living within an adobe enclosed garden right now.
Today, Pope Francis made a "collective apology" to the indigenous peoples of Chiapas, a state in which 76% of the people live in poverty. Three native languages were used in the service and a Vatican proclamation was made allowing the use of another indigenous language.

Today, I was engaged in a discussion over at http://materfamiliasknits.blogspot.mx about retirement.
A remark had been made about "not wanting to just sit around". For some, that might be a choice but
there is so much to learn and understand about the world and it can come from a small thing like
my curiosity about my address.

6 comments:

  1. No, I can't imagine you will ever just be sitting around. Even if you end up sedentary, you'd be sure to have a book in your hand and research at your fingertips. As so many of yours are, especially when you write of Mexico, this is an interesting and instructive post.

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  2. As you will know from your recent alone time (partial alone time) in Rome, that "buzzing" mind never stops. I was thinking about your blog and Sue Burpee's last night and I wonder "do teachers retire?"
    Since I have retired, I have started leading a theology-based study group, facilitating French conversation and writing to share my impressions of the world. Perhaps we just stop needing to be paid.

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    1. I, too, am a retired educator who along with my husband moved further north to be near our daughter. I read your blog and materfamilia's regularly. Today's entry reminded me of a fourth year archaeology course on Meso-America I thoroughly enjoyed over 38 years ago at SFU. ( My BA is in French Literature)

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  3. The blog world is a small world! My BA is in French Literature and I took a Fine Arts course in the art of Meso-America 38 years ago as well. Oaxaca is so rich in art (mostly exhibited at no cost in restored
    colonial buildings) that it is like living in a Meso-American field trip.

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