By Jane Bauer
One of my greatest joys about living in Mexico has been the children. Bilma (age 4) and Betsabel (age 2) were my first friends when I moved to Mazunte in 1997. They helped me with my Spanish as we collected shells on the beach or painted. When I moved to Puerto Angel in 1999 the children who came every Friday to the local library to hear a story and do crafts continued to teach me about their culture as I taught them about Jorge el Curioso. Today I live in Zimatan, a village 25 minutes from Huatulco. There is no cell service or landline telephone and it is not uncommon for the electricity to be off all day as CFE works on the lines.
Unlike Mazunte and Puerto Angel where most kids now have cell phones and satellite TV, kids in Zimatan rely on good old fashion fun. They make forts out of sticks, hunt for bugs and play in the magestic river for which this town is named. I love nothing more than heading down to the river for a swim after a hot Huatulco afternoon. I recently started bringing my camera and showing my neighbours Ismael, Xunashi and Pedro how to use it. They were fascinated. As a parent I know how difficult it can be to fascinate kids in this techno gadget oriented world. The kids took turns turning the camera on and off, zooming in and out and taking pictures. Their excitement at seeing the images in the viewfinder reminded me of Bilma’s excitement when I would pull out the paints all those years ago. While these days Bilma and I keep in touch via facebook, I realized that the kids of Zimatan still hold an amazement about the world that is hard to recapture once it is lost.
I asked the kids if they would be interested in starting a photo club- the answer a resounding yes. If you have a digital camera that is no longer of use to you and you would like to donate to the Zimatan Photo Club please mail it to the following address and I will bring it down with me. Please make sure that it is functioning, has a chip and include any cords for recharging or downloading. I look forward to sharing with you the world through their eyes in a later issue.