Thursday, March 24, 2011

San Cristóbal - Day Six - Observations

March 23, 2011

To follow are observations of women in the indigenous culture and it seems basically they work all the time. Three years ago when Bruce and I drove through Mexico, we commented on how the women did quite a bit of heavy labor. We know men are stronger physically but we saw women (young and old) carrying wood on their backs, a young girl balancing a tree trunk on her head carrying it uphill, women tilling the land, minding the sheep, shearing the sheep, spinning the wool, weaving the wool, then carrying and selling their products with babies strapped to their backs. I'm assuming they do all the cooking as well. We did see some men doing the labor but not as prevalent as the women.

Young girls getting water. There is nothing wrong with working hard but the balance of work between sexes may be off kilter favoring the male sex.

Women doing laundry the hard way.

Sergio showed me photos of building a water filtration system which basically the walls are made of concrete blocks and mortar. Here the women mix the mortar. My father did some masonry work and we, as children, mixed concrete in an electric concrete mixer.

Fortunately, my father did not make us carry concrete blocks on our backs, with no shoes!

At the museo over the last four or five evenings there has been a young lady, sitting to the far left and her friends sitting to the right, bring me gifts of food and a new patient (always a woman) from there village. It is likely these women would not otherwise seek medical consult. The patients are in their indigenous garb and she translates from their native tongue to Spanish. It makes me happy that this young woman is an advocate for the women of her community.

Sergio informs me that the women do most of the work, it is their culture and jokingly says (I think jokingly) the men are "to think".

This 70 year-old-man carries his own bag uphill.

I'm glad to inform all that Kieu made it back home to her family safely and we already miss her!

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