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Tepito & Valle de Bravo June 7, 2010

Posted by lbuckley3 in Travel Log.
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Wow time is flying by– it’s truly amazing how many things we pack in each day here!  Since I last wrote, we went to a neighborhood called Tepito, one of the poorer, more troubled areas of Mexico City, to work with kids in a weekend workshop designed to channel their energies into productive activities like reading and crafts. We played dominoes with them, read Spanish children’s stories, and helped them make puppets.

Historically, Tepito has been an artisan neighborhood and Don Luis, the man who started the workshop, also trains apprentices in shoemaking. According to Don Luis, the neighborhood took a turn for the worse under the influence of narcotrafficking, which was in part related to the rise in popularity of boxers from Tepito who made a great deal of profit from the sport and got involved in drugs and alcohol. However, after spending a day in Tepito, it is clear to see that it is an area home to many talented athletes and artists alike. It was inspirational to see what a positive impact people like Don Luis are having on the children there and I’m confident some of my little puppet-makers hold great promise for the city of Tepito.

Another one of my favorite trips was our weekend spent in Valle de Bravo, about three hours away from Mexico City. This is the kind of place you make plans to retire to and spend the rest of your days there. It’s a small town on a beautiful lake with winding roads on the mountainous shoreline, making it a favorite destination for athletic travelers interested in water sports, hang-gliding, or hiking. We did some hiking after we took a boat across the lake to a waterfall called Velo de Novia (or Bride’s Veil). The rest of the day we spent strolling around the sleepy town, stopping to admire the artwork of street vendors, and just taking in the breathtaking views. I literally never wanted to leave, but I can’t wait for our next excursion to Puebla!