I venture back to the casita after wandering through the slippery cobblestone streets with my eye fixed through a viewfinder. My feet are dirty and my mouth is dry. I occasionally miss steps, this gives the too familiar feeling of flirting with a fall. I am clumsy relative to the natives. They carry themselves with poise and ease. Something I have always aspired to.
My days are filled with beating sun light and a struggle to communicate. My photographs are filled with vibrant colors and ancient architecture. The people have history and experience written on their expressions. I can only begin to understand what all this culture has seen and been through.
A culture that was once indigenous, that developed advanced communities and beliefs in multiple deities, became a mixed race by force of the Europeans. Their traditions were attempted to be erased by Christian ideology. The Mexican culture has nonetheless proved to be resilient; after the revolution from Spain, Mexicans began to reconnect with traditional practices that were passed down through oral history.
According to the 2005 Mexican Census, 1 out of 10 Mexicans claimed that they identified more with their pre-Hispanic roots rather than their Spanish/European influences. A culture never forgets it’s own history, regardless of the gruesome truths that laid the groundwork for their identity.