I have not done a cafe post in a bit. Partly that is because of the busyness of travel and partly because there for a while we were not in any cafes to speak of. However, now we are in San Cristobal de las casas and there are cafes everywhere. It is a bit of a touristy town, although, there is a lot going on here, good and bad.
As far as the cafes go we have been to several, but I am just going to talk about one, because today I decided it is my favorite. It is called Kakao Natura Chocolate (they also sell some chocolate) and is a nice little place with a small upstairs as well, which is our favorite place to sit. They have ample power outlets and wifi (with a password), as well as a free bathroom.
San Cristobal is an interesting place. Lots of people come here for vacation and traveling so there is a whole market around it. More cafes than we have seen in the three other cities we have been in (Tijuana, Guadalajara, and Mexico City). There are more hostels then I can count and lots of shops aimed at tourists. There are indigenous women and children who walk around just about everywhere and sell things. The woman sell tapestries, shawls, and bracelets; the children sell these things too or sometimes they have candy and/or noise makers.
I could figure out on my own that the children where being exploited, but I found out from some one else that the woman, on the majority, work for someone else, who is generally either a Mexican or a white as a opposed to an indigenous. So these people walk around all day from early in the morning till way past dark, say 10pm or midnight. Then they return the earnings to whoever they are working for and they only get back a very small amount. Needless to say these articles that are being sold are also made by these woman.
There is, of course, also the Zapatistas which are fairly well know. There are several stores that sell items relating to the Zapatista movement and there are several restaurants with Zapatista motifs. The funny thing is that we saw posters up around town with a woman wearing a bandana around her face and with three dates, one from the 1980s, 1994, and 2014. I am not completely sure but I think that the first one is the beginning of the movement, I know the second one is when they rose up when NAFTA was signed, and then the last one is of course this year. We have seen these posters all over the city, however, most of them have been torn up. So, it is funny that there are stores and restaurants that attempt to profit off of the Zapatista image and yet all over the city the posters that are new and promote a new “uprising” are torn up.
San Cristobal is pretty awesome all in all. Like I said there are really beautiful things and really oppressive realities.