Mexico: San Cristobal de las Casas……. Do Over # 2

Having ecaped the combination of religious fervor and gathering Rainbow Family festivities in Palenque, I caught the bus to San Cristobal de las Casas for yet another do-over. In my memory, it was a charming mountain town steeped in colonial architecture surrounded by smaller Mayan villages. It was there, 28 years earlier, that I met the subject of one of my college research papers – Gertrude Blom.

On my previous trip, I had stayed at Casa Na Bolom, the home, hotel and research center of Frans and Gertrude Blom, internationally reknowned archeologists, photographers and environmentalists.

Frans and Gertrude Blom

Frans had passed away, but Trudi Blom still lived at Na Bolom and each night at dinner she presided over a long wooden table lined with an array of guests. The Bloms were particularly concerned about the plight of the Lacandon Maya, a Mayan group whose numbers had been impacted by the diseases incurred by contact with the Spanish and white populations. When members of the group came into San Cristobal from their jungle homes, they were always given free room and board at Casa Na Bolom. My most memorable dinner companions one evening 28 years ago had been the leader of the Lacandons’, his wife and three of his children and two nuns from the United States – one a Mother Superior trying to decide if she should leave the convent to marry a man she loved. Also Gertrude Blom.

She had passed away since my stay there and I knew that in 2011, she and Frans had been reburied in a traditional Lacandon ceremony and village. Bolom is Mayan for jaguar and Frans Blom had been one of the first archaeologists to discover and excavate Palenque. Those karmic connections to my Palenque do-over were not enough to get me accommodations at Na Bolom on this trip. It had been booked up for months.  I arrived in town sans reservations at the height of the second biggest Festival of the Virgin of Guadalupe in all of Mexico.

Author: anncrandall

My single parenthood has launched a successful son. My long-time, rewarding job has culminated in a modest retirement pension and evolved into part time consulting work. I made a list of all the times I said, "if only I had the time, I would..." . Prominent on the list were all the places I wanted to travel and getting more familiar with my home base. And so I am. I author two blogs: about my travels and about where I live.

2 thoughts on “Mexico: San Cristobal de las Casas……. Do Over # 2”

  1. First of all I want to say fantastic blog! I had a quick question that I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.
    I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your thoughts prior to
    writing. I have had a tough time clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts out there.
    I truly do enjoy writing but it just seems like the first
    10 to 15 minutes are generally lost simply just trying to figure
    out how to begin. Any ideas or hints? Thank you!

    1. Hi,

      Your email ended up in my blog spam folder that I only check periodically. How do I begin my writing process? It’s been a series of experiments and here’s what seems to work for me so far:

      1. I’ve found that I can’t write the article while I’m traveling. It takes concentration and I’m too distracted. I take notes and photos and I use my personal Facebook page to post short impressions and/or facts while traveling. My Facebook posts that get the biggest number of likes or responses are the ones I turn into blog posts when I get home. I use my Facebook friends as a focus group to see whats interesting to an audience. Sometimes I check responses under that post for further writing inspiration.

      2. If you read my lengthy blog post No Longer A Cruise Virgin, I actually interviewed friends before I left and asked them what topics they would want to read about in an article about re-positioning cruises. The article is an answer to their questions and that format gave me a writing structure.

      3. I usually begin with a vivid description of something that happened and use my photos to jog my memory.

      Hope this helps!

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