Buenos Dias dear reader. It is hard to believe this is Saturday already! At least that is what the calendar on my laptop says…I have lost complete track of time! I do want to catch you up on the last two and half days, but first I will tell you about our reflection time on Thursday evening. Chris Smith and Tim Johnson (pastor at Cherokee Park United Church) asked us a question, “What is one thing that has deepened my own sense of privilege, and what is the cost of that privilege?” I and my fellow bloggers have already noted a sense of privilege as we prepared for this trip, but now that we are here it becomes even more apparent. The first image that popped into my mind is that of the children and women in the plaza, arms loaded up with beautiful cloths, woven belts, clay animals, etc. , who work hard to get my attention as I walk along. And sometimes very small children tap me and hold out their hand and say, “Uno peso?” I think of my own children now both in college and see a striking difference as to how I was able to care for them. They did not have to spend all their waking hours selling wares on a street corner. Neither did I. Not hardly! I have never been wealthy, but I have always had enough as have my children. I also thought of how I am pursuing my education at United Theological Seminary and how it is truly a privilege to be able to choose to do so. Even though I do so out of a sense of spiritual call, I am fully aware that I can only do so because I happen to have options in this world. Such is not the case for most of the world and certainly not for so many I see here in San Cristobal. I also know that what I see here is only a small glimpse.
What is the cost of the privilege I enjoy? Hmmm. This was more difficult to answer in more than one way. My first thought was, what is meant by cost? It is one thing to note how I have enjoyed privilege, but to consider the idea that how I live might have a direct, costly impact on the lives of someone far away is disconcerting and uncomfortable. I do not want to think about how the relative comfort I live in in the United States may have direct negative impact on the women I see in the San Cristobal plaza.
We have just had a wonderful surprise! Teresa came to the hotel this morning with two women from the community of Magdalenas, a Zapatista community that has a women’s weaving cooperative. They had many beautiful weavings that we were able to purchase! We were so excited and many of us did buy. A weaving approximately 12 inches by 24 inches takes them a month and a half to weave, spending 8 hours a day. They do all their weaving at home and then put them together to sell. One of these weavings sells for 400 pesos…less than $40. A month and a half work, plus materials, for less money than I make in 4 hours. Can I say any more about my own privilege?
Dear reader, Amy and Pam and I will continue to fill you in on the events of the last couple days. We have to tell you about SIPAZ and ProMedia and Other Worlds. Yesterday we visited Chamula, Tzotzil community and witnessed the Festival of San Sebastian which was a total sensory experience! Later we will meet some more women who also weave and teach, but at this moment I do not recall the name of their organization, so more later! Also, watch for pictures. We have decided to do a post with just pics rather than try to incorporate them into the posts, so check back again!
Thank you again for your comments and support in prayer and thought as we learn more about ourselves in this holy place.