Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Village

My grandfather, Apolonio Robledo, says that when he was a kid there were only 13 houses in the village of Taretan, which everyone calls Tareta. No one knows when the village was founded or where the name comes from. Tareta was born of the hills and river that surround it, just came to life one day.

My grandfather was born on April 10, 1920. That makes him 88 years old. His mind is sharp and his arms are strong. A few years ago he suffered a fall from a ladder and landed on his knees. Any other man of his age would have been put in a wheel chair for life, my grandfather simply walks slower. He takes a cane along with him when he travels to town (Irapuato), but he tells me it's more for show, and he winks at me as he makes a chopping motion.

Tareta has plotted his death, put a curse on him, attempted to steal his lands, and broken his heart. My grandfather, however, is made of tougher stuff and he refuses to give up on this village, he knows it can be a better place

Here are a few shot's of life in the village.

This is Tareta. Most of the village is hidden as it drops down and away. Past the village are foreign owned businesses ( los americanos!!) that refuse to hire the local men and women citing a lack of preparedness. The underground water supply though seems to be good enough to take.

This is the home my grandfather currenlty lives in. Little by little he adds to it, an extra room here, a shower there, etc. It has three showers and two bathrooms, but no water! The nicer brick and tile work was completed by a "maestro", but the rest of the work is my grandfather's. This is the second or third house he has built in the village. He was the first to have a working toilet and shower by the way.

Here is one of the altars in my grandfather's house. No altar is complete without the image of the Virgen, the Pope, or JFK. If you have all three it's a hat trick.

Here's Gloria doing the dishes old school. She is washing up in something called a "pila". It's an old fashioned wash basin that is made of cement and can be mounted anywhere. Since we were living out of water barrels, it was easier to do the dishes and other "water work" outside. The pila faces the backyard which is filled with fruit trees and a chicken with seven chicks, and in the distance you can see wheat fields and the mountains.

Here we are on our way to catch the bus into town. That's my grandfather with his cane/weapon, Herculana, his wife, and some thug that snuck in when no one was looking. Herculana is not my grandmother. She married my grandfather sometime after my grandmother, Marcelina, died after complications during childbirth. My mother was only 3 when Marcelina died, but she has regular visits with her via dreams.

More village pix soon.


felixchick said...

sounds like grandpa is feisty. so is my grandma. dont you love to hear their stories from way back when?

Talia said...

Great pics. How often do you visit Mexico? How long has it been?

Neil Kelly said...

Is that a pic of JFK next to the Pope?

Jesus said...

Erica: yeah, gramps has got stories, and I love hearing em all!

Talia: It's been about 6 years since I was last in Mexico (Monterrey) and about 23 years since I was in the village.

Neil: Yup, JFK AND the POPE