Auryn and I are going to live and travel in Mexico for up to six months!
  • Day118

    Headed for Guatemala!

    January 21 in Mexico ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    After four months we’re finally leaving Mexico! We are first took a beautiful mountain colectivo ride into Las Champas which is where went through Mexican immigration to get our passports stamped. We then took a ten minute taxi ride to the Guatemalan boarder to go through Guatemalan immigration. We started getting nervous when the immigration officer couldn’t find the Mexican departure stamp in my passport, but thankfully he just missed the page where it was hidden so we were able to get through just fine. 😊

    This is the final post for my Mexico trip! I’ve made a new trip just for Guatemala! 🇬🇹
    Read more

  • Explore, what other travelers do in:
  • Day117

    Pitstop Comitan

    January 20 in Mexico ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    We arrived in Comitan! We are only staying one night here because tomorrow we are headed to Guatemala!!! 🥳

    We didn’t get to see too much of Comitan because of our short stay, but the bits we did see were really nice. 😊Read more

  • Day117

    Leaving San Cristobal for Comitan

    January 20 in Mexico ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    At long last we finally start making our way to Guatemala by first stopping in Comitan, Mexico! Our day starts off a little rocky because Auryn was unfortunately feeling extremely nauseous and we *foolishly* decided to acquire printed copies of our COVID tests (required to enter Guatemala) on the way to our bus. The printing took much longer than expected so when we finished we had very little time to try and make our bus. We started walking as fast as we could (with all of our bags), but somehow this particular walk seemed to be mostly uphill! 😅

    We finally get to the last stretch of road before our bus station to find that the road had been entirely lifted out and was now a huge muddy and hole filled construction zone! We started trekking through the construction, but alas we had missed our bus. 😞

    Thankfully there was a colectivo station directly beside the bus station so we got into a colectivo and waited for it to fill up before finally departing to Comitan. 😊
    Read more

  • Day114

    Chamula

    January 17 in Mexico ⋅ 🌙 15 °C

    The Chamula people make up a piece of a larger group of indigenous people in southeast Mexico referred to as the Tzotzil Maya people. San Juan Chamula is a self-governed municipality with it’s main town centre located 20 minutes (driving) from San Cristobal de la Casa, Chiapas. It has a population of approximately 80 000, of which nearly 100% speak Tzotzil, a native Tzeltalan Mayan language. Standard Mexican law-enforcement is to remain outside of the municipality as San Juan Chamula has achieved its own police force and autonomy after five centuries of rebellion from Spanish and Catholic invasion.

    There is a church in the main town of Chamula where many important cultural ceremonies take place. The physical church and religious practices are a mix between Catholicism and Chamula’s traditional Mayan beliefs. Foreigners may enter for a small fee, however, no photography is permitted inside of the church otherwise you may be forced to delete the photos, or sent to the local jail for one day to be subjected to public ridicule. The Chamula believe that photos may steal their soul and for this reason it is encouraged to respect their beliefs and refrain from including them in photos, even in photo permitted areas.

    Our colectivo dropped us off directly outside of a massive outdoor market. As we walked through the market we saw many women dressed in thick black wool skirts, and men dressed in similar jackets which are seen as a symbol of status. The market consisted of anything from food, charging cables and adaptors, kitchen ware, clothing, produce, and colourful knickknacks. We weaved through the market to a central square where stood the infamous Chamula church.

    As we entered, a woman holding a copper pot full of burning copal resin walked past us. The church floor was absent of pews and instead covered with pine needles. It smelled wonderful. The walls were lined with glass cases that housed colourfully dressed statues of saints (representing Mayan gods) with unsettling porcelain faces. In front of the saints were tables covered in hundreds upon hundreds of burning candles . We walked further into the church to find many families sitting on cleared portions of the floor in front of rows of thin burning candle sticks stuck to the floor with wax; typically one family member chanted in what I assume was Tzotzil. As we proceeded through the church we looked up to see the A-frame ceiling adorned in rows of white fabric banners sprawled from the centre highest beam connecting to the lower left and right walls to form an arc. Bouquets of flowers, most notably large deep-yellow sunflowers, hung from the ceiling and decorated the tables lit with candles. Coca-Cola bottles sat empty on the floor.

    As Auryn and I arrived to the very front of the church we noticed a family and a live chicken sitting on the floor in front of several rows of very tall white and coloured candles. A woman was leading the ritual with chanting, occasionally stopping to pour a small glass of pox or Coca-Cola, which was then swept over the burning candles and then handed to other members of the family for drinking. Eventually she picked up the chicken. She gently swept it over the smoke of the burning candles and then proceeded to rub the chicken all over the body of the woman to her right. She then took the chicken and secured it close to her lap with her left arm and took its head in her right hand and pulled until the chickens neck snapped. Both of our hearts were thumping violently. She then proceeded to continue chanting, and pouring pox and Coke, before eventually packing up and leaving with her family.

    As Auryn and I turned to leave the church we stopped to watch a group of men carrying a very tall and relatively thin pine tree which they stuck into a whole in the floor in front of one of the saints.

    So what was happening here?

    Well, all of these different practices are obviously part of various religious cultural rituals, most of which I do not understand. However, I have learned that the colour and size of the candles represent various types and severities of ritual intentions; I had even heard that dark coloured candles are used during the night during more sinisterly intentioned rituals. The Coca-Cola is used to induce burping which is thought to expel sickness, or evil. The chickens are rubbed on the body to absorb a persons ailments, the different coloured coloured chickens are used for different illnesses. The chicken is then sacrificed to kill the absorbed ailment. After this segment of the ritual the family will leave the church and eat the chickens body while the ailed person will eat its head and remain solitary in a room for five days.

    Okay, but... why Coca-Cola?

    Well, the Chamula have induced burping with various drinks, however, Coca-Cola caught wind of their rituals and schemed a marketing technique that led to such intense distribution of Coke in San Juan Chamula that it is now one of the most frequently purchased and cheapest places to buy Coke in the world.

    ***I did not take any forbidden photos, however, I did find some photos on the internet to better illustrate the setting. Therefore, the first two photos and last video are taken by me, and the rest are from various sources on the internet.***
    Read more

  • Day108

    Our 1st Anniversary!

    January 11 in Mexico ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    Auryn and I decide to gift ourselves warmth by booking a couple of nights at a beautiful hotel that has a fireplace AND large jacuzzi tub! 😍

    We stayed in two different rooms (the second one was supposed to be nicer, but was booked for our first night). We both LOVED the first room because it literally had the most comfortable bed we had ever slept on. Not even exaggerating.

    Our breakfast was delicious and consisted of refried beans, fried plantains, eggs, toast and jam, and for lunch we had falafel burgers!

    Auryn surprised me with some local chocolates and flavoured pox (posh), a traditional liquor to Chiapas! ❤️

    The fireplaces were beautiful! It was so nice to have heat in our bedroom. 😂 Instead of purchasing the expensive hotel firewood bundles we decided to try and buy more firewood (leña) at the local market. We didn’t find any, but I always enjoy a walk though the market anyways.

    Overall, our couple of luxurious days were a great relief to the many nights sleeping in the dormitories and wonderful way to celebrate our first anniversary. 😊
    Read more

  • Day106

    Iglesia de San Cristobolito

    January 9 in Mexico ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    Today we went for a small journey to Iglesia de San Cristobolito (little church of Saint Cristopher) with our friend Bruno. Once we walked through the beautiful streets of San Cristobal we arrived at the bottom of the enormous staircase that led up to the church. The church itself was pretty, but the real reason we chose to go there was for the amazing view of the city below!

    After taking in the view for a while we walked to the back of the church where there was a parking lot with a lone ice cream truck with the ice cream man sleeping inside while the music was playing 😂.

    We kept walking through this parking lot until we found an old and abandon rock wall that had a long metal ladder that led to a platform above, Bruno and Auryn went up, and I decided that I would sit this one out. Auryn told me that when he got to the top there was a random young Mexican guy sitting there who tried to sell him a flower that he made out of a pop can. Super strange. 😂

    We noticed that the back of the abandon rock had a large metal cable attached to it that led somewhere into the forest so we followed it along a trail to find that it led to a series of platforms that made up an old zip-lining course. We kept following the trail until it brought us back to the parking lot where we decided to head to back into town, except instead of going down the enormous stairs, we followed a steep trail that led us through the forest where we kept seeing enormous piles of eggshells. 🤔

    A simple walk turned into a very bizarre journey.
    Read more

  • Day104

    Puttering from Jan 1st to Jan 9th

    January 7 in Mexico ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    Over the next week or so, Auryn and I puttered around San Cristobal and enjoy economic living. 😎

    We had been sleeping in a bunk bed (sharing a single person bed to keep warm), so we invented a cute little bedroom in our tiny bunk. We wedged my iPad keyboard into a board supporting the top bunk, plugged in our head-phone splitter which, obviously, connected to two sets of headphones. Then we’d relax into our airplane pillows and could enjoy a relaxing space without disturbing our dorm mates! (Although we were giggling to Brooklyn Nine-Nine one night and this really bitchy lady (who caused a lot of grief for everyone) complained and said that she thought we were getting “handsy” which is hilarious 😂, plus it was WAY before quiet time).

    A couple other of notes:

    We saw the smallest dog I’ve ever seen. I had to use one finger to pet it’s tiny head and then it’s tiny tail starting tinyily wagging! 😭

    I worked on my Udemy music course at this amazing local café most days.

    I also tried some different local food (see pictures).
    Read more

  • Day97

    New Years Eve!

    December 31, 2020 in Mexico ⋅ ☁️ 14 °C

    We had an absolutely incredible New Years Eve!

    We took it easy most of the day to recover from the *previous night* before partying for New Year.

    The night started slowly with some drinks and fun with our friends before we moved upstairs to the dining area where our friends prepared an AMAZING dinner for us.

    Afterwards we moved down to the common area to dance, and play some games before eventually moving into the street to hit some piñata!

    First the children got a turn at smacking the piñata (all while everyone cheered and sung “Dale Dale Dale,” a children’s piñata song. Then the hostel residents were able to take a swing, including me! I was blind folded and spun around before getting to swing at the piñata! I got into the zone with several swings and eventually conquered the piñata! It was so exciting! Right after I broke it open, some of the adults started shooting off fireworks and the kids ran in to grab all the candy.

    After one of our friends demolished another piñata, we all went back inside for some more dancing and partying. One of the children was watching me while I was hula-hooping and she and I became friends. Mila is very shy, but she warmed up to me enough to tell me that she loves dancing and singing. 🥰

    The festivities continued until we all congregated on the rooftop to watch the fireworks shooting up from all around us. You could see fireworks come from nearby, or you could look up onto the hills and see them shooting off the mountain. It was magical.

    We honestly missed the count down, but once we realized that midnight had struck we all started screaming “Happy New Year,” “Feliz Año Nuevo,” and one of my personal favourites “F**k 2020!!!” 😂

    Contrary to the social distancing of 2020, we all hugged to celebrate and welcome the long awaited arrival of 2021. Having human contact after a year of extensive social limitations was so therapeutic.

    After New Years, Auryn and I went to bed fairly early while the rest of the hostel stayed up until 7 am still partying. When I woke up I found some of our friends huddled around an unlit campfire that had a single lit candle in the centre. 😂

    Needless to say, the hostel was very quite during the day of January 1st.

    *Previous nights recap*

    Three young French guys came to the hostel a few days previous, and honestly, I don’t think I ever saw them without bloodshot eyes and strung out on... something... multiple things? Anyway, they decided to go out on Dec 30th to party. Somewhere along the night they lost their keys and had their phone stolen (which they ended up getting back by chasing down and punching the thief). So they come back to the hostel around 2:30 am when they proceed to start banging and yelling on the hostel door and ringing the door bell. I am not comfortable with answering the door in the middle of the night to three aggressive sounding drunk men so I pretend to be “asleep,” which I guess is what most people decided to do because they kept banging on the door for OVER TWO HOURS before someone let them in. In the periods of time where they weren’t slamming on the door, the silence was soon broken by people talking in their sleep, running out of the room sobbing, looking around the room with their phones lit up, and snoring loudly. This whole night was all hilariously accompanied by our roommates relaxing water-fall noise maker, which we all agreed is peaceful and relaxing, but unfortunately didn’t do us much help during this wild night.

    Everyone woke up in the morning and began telling all of their nights stories. One of our friends was throwing up all night (from some unknown illness) and she heard everything from the bathroom, our other friend (and hostel volunteer) had to answer the door and manage the three drunken guys. Another friend had the drunk guys accidentally walk into their private room because they were too drunk to know where their room was. Our other friend was heard sleep talking about a business plan conversation. The stories really go on forever, honestly.

    So we all wake up and exchange our version of the story when one of the drunk French guys interrupts us to ask “do any of you know who let me in last night? I need to ask them if I came in with a jacket because I can’t find it and it had 5000 pesos in it.” 🙄 And we are all like “Why. Would. You. Walk. Around. With. That. Much. Money?!?!?” (He’s also walking around with a bum hand from punching out the phone thief). So for the next hour or so we watch him looking around the hostel for his lost belongings until him and his rowdy friends are eventually asked to leave the hostel.

    Auryn and I moved into a private room for the next four nights, which we had already planned being that the hostel dorms are likely to be incredibly noisy during New Years Eve. Our private room was especially welcome after this noisy night.
    Read more

  • Day96

    Churros and Cheese

    December 30, 2020 in Mexico ⋅ ☁️ 19 °C

    Today Auryn and I were venturing the outskirts of San Cristobal to acquire cheese for tonight’s Mac-n-cheese feast when he spotted a sketchy churros stand along the side of the road. Being that I love sweets and hadn’t yet had a churro in Mexico, he insisted on getting me some!

    That evening Auryn made the entire hostel Mac-n-cheese. Everyone was so excited and loved it! It was great sharing food with everyone. Thanks Auryn! 🥰
    Read more