San Cristobal de las Casas – the magic of the mountains

San Cristobal de las Casas is a colourful city deep in the mountains. The streets are bustling with all walks of life – from European tourists to indigenous peoples. The air is fresh and clean, and the light beautiful. It was a relief to be cold at night, and to escape the oppressive heat of the coast for a while.

Also a relief to find the lovely Lucia at Hotel Posada Colonial, and Joaquin’s fabulous Hostalito at purabici (where we also met Javier and Sylvia from Spain, cycling from Alaska to South America – nice to be bumping into more and more cyclists as we go!)

San Cristobal is named after a Dominican monk (Las Casas) who was famous for his work protecting indigenous groups from terrible cruelty at the hands of the Spanish. It was also the place, on New Year’s Day 1994, that the Zapatistas chose to launch their uprising demanding a better life for indigenous groups living in the state. The Zapatistas remain active in Chiapas, the complexities involved in their plight still very much unresolved. Named after Emiliano Zapata, a hero of the Mexican Revolution who led a peasant army, and fought for land reform, the Zapatistas have gained global recognition largely because of the eloquent and enigmatic figure of Subcomandante Marcos.

The amazing market, San Cristobal de las Casas

Beans, beans, good for the heart...

Live chickens for sale

Dried, salty fish

Fabulous, hand woven textiles

Tianguis (indigenous word for market) selling local, responsibly sourced fruit and veg

Another side to San Cristobal - the rather posh cafe TierroAdentro

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