Photos by Liz Rothwell and Bob Crosthwait - More Photos
Morning in Coscomatepec
There is a mountain mist in the air which you could see like moonbeams through the streetlights. I closed my eyes and breathed in and out slowly, soaking up the sensation of my body completely at ease in the warm moist air.
The first sound I heard was the click clack of tall bamboo blowing in the gentle breeze. When I listened further I could hear that it was the sound of guinea fowl stirring in the wee hours of the morning. As the first rays of the sun broke through the clouds the neighbor’s rooster joined a chorus of roosters throughout the barrio. Then, as if on cue, the nearby braying of a donkey followed by the cow next door mooing to be milked. It was a symphony of farm animals announcing the beginning of another fine day in the town of Coscomatepec, in Veracruz, Mexico. Sound travels well up and down the mountain sides, transcending time and space. The clanging of church bells announce the beginning of morning mass in the church on the Plaza dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe.
The first sound of human endeavor was the sound of tent poles rolling across cobblestone streets. Greetings abound. “Buenos dias! Buenos dias!“ Eventually I look out my window at a sea of blue tarps and rigging tied to every available hook or pole. Tables and benches, blankets and buckets are set upon the ground. Fruit and vegetables abound. Some which I've never seen before and have to ask what the are called. Colorful displays, arranged beautifully, full of everything imaginable, fill the streets and alleys and cover the plaza.
At the food court I'm assaulted with the aromas of frying chiles and tacos, smoked barbeque and roasted chicken. Then there is the music, always music. The experience reminds me of a Renaissance Festival in full swing. However, this is not a reenactment, it is the Regional Street Market in Coscomatepec that appears every Monday morning. We spend the day perusing each and every stall; many of them selling the same thing as their neighbor and the guy and down the street. I might buy something just because I like someone’s face or outward friendliness.
At the end of the day we display our goods on the kitchen table. There are several kinds of bananas, a pineapple, mangoes, oranges, papayas, chiotes, small new potatoes, spring onions and several kinds of peppers; a new enamel pot for making soup and a knife for slicing and dicing and a lime squeezer. I am thrilled. It’s a great good day in the Morning in Coscomatepec.