The Cost of Privilege

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 Continue reading

NEWS FLASH! TOURISTS UNABLE TO BUY THEIR WAY THROUGH MEXICO!

Indians  Deny U.S. Seminarians Access to Their Town

June 19, 2010, Chiapas, Mexico

After seventeen seminarians and teachers from United Theological Seminary in Saint Paul, Minneosta, traveled to the troubled province of Chiapas, Mexico, to learn and share with the people, a local Zapatista community at Oventic turned them away.   “We were disappointed,” a seminarian said.  “Something was going on in their community,” explained the interpreter-leader.

In the past twenty years, Mexico has developed as the top tourist destination for Americans.  Drawn by the beaches and a favorable exchange rate, foreign tourists spent $13.3 billion in 2008 alone.   “You can buy anything in Mexico,” a tourist explained.  “They are so nice and they will do anything for you.”

But not in Chiapas.  After surrendering their passports at the village gate, Continue reading

Why Chiapas, Anyway?

I went and had dinner at my grandparents’ home the other night, having called them up to say that it would be nice to see them before I left for Mexico on Monday.

“I just don’t understand why you people feel the need to go flying all over the world looking for people to help,” my grandpa said as he set the table.  “There are plenty of people right here who need help.  You don’t have to go to Mexico for that.”

His point is a valid one. Continue reading