I just want you to keep in mind the blowing dust as you look at these pictures. It never stopped. On the street we saw a number of women with brooms, some walking quickly, some standing and talking to each other. I imagine they might have been trying to keep their houses somewhat clean of it: it must seep in through cracks under doors and through window frames and push in hard when someone opens a door. The rains will come to La Gloria soon, too. They will have a short reprieve.
Not too far from La Gloria, as you turn northeast into the foothills of Perote, the landscape starts to change. You can get a hint of that in this picture, looking I think in that direction from the hacienda. (All the remaining photos are Jim's)
These stacks of corn stalks were very common. Some were this shape, some were conical and reminded me of scenes in fairy tales and such. Outside one wall of the hacienda, there was a machine making them. You can also see a pig under the tree on the left. This is not an escapee from Las Granjas Carroll. This is a happy pig.
A dog with tortillas.
As I've mentioned before, many pueblos and pueblitos have public health announcements painted on walls. Here's one I haven't seen before:
It says keep rooms well lit. Sounds like my father who always said to me, don't read in the dark.
This one addresses women quite directly: prevent cancer of the womb and of the breast and diabetes. The clinics in many towns, including very small ones, have regular campaigns and exams for women. Right now in Coatepec, there is a sign up at the family services clinic notifying women that mammograms will soon be available for about $25.00.
There are several lakes in the region not far from La Gloria. Here is one of them.
If you click on it, you'll see the dots near the water in the lower center are sheep grazin The lake is surrounded by dunes.
An older woman we talked to in La Gloria remembered when it was greener, or at least not so dry. She knew a lot about deforestation and spoke with anger about the destruction of the forests on the slopes of the mountains by large companies who brought in their vast amounts of trucks and equipment to clearcut. I am not sure exactly how fast the environment changed, or how different it was, but in the days she remembered, people could grow crops to feed their families. This drying-out is not only caused by deforestation, apparently, but also by overgrazing. Reforestation efforts are hampered by lack of attention to the baby trees and by continued theft of wood by commercial concerns. We face some literally huge dilemmas. It appears that growing world population (growth has slowed dramatically in Mexico) and mushrooming large scale commerce and industry are on a collision course with the survival of the environment. People in places like La Gloria are among the first victims.