In the northwestern state of Chihuahua, Copper Canyon is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The combined length of the ravines makes Mexico’s Copper Canyon a whopping four times larger than the Grand Canyon in the United States. In some places, it’s even deeper than the Grand Canyon, with a depth of over 1 mile (1.6 km) The Tarahumara people, or Rarámuri as they’re known in their own language, call the Copper Canyon home. They are a group of indigenous people who have protected their culture and way of life by retreating deep within the Copper Canyon system some 400 years ago when the Spanish arrived in the north. They are so remote and so secretive that there are no accurate estimates as to their population size. The El Chepe Train transports people into the canyon on a railway track that stretches from the city of Chihuahua to Los Mochis on the Pacific coast and consists of 37 bridges and 86 tunnels. ~visitcoppercanyon.com
A visit to Copper Canyon, Mexico, via the El Chepe Train has been on my sister’s Bucket List for 35 years. It’s about time… Below are four videos that document our adventures as we cross the border into Mexico to tackle theMission NOT Impossible…Copper Canyon, Mexico.
We have FAILED at corresponding with family and friends this year since no holiday cards were sent. We even attempted a photo during our family Christmas gathering! Instead, we have resorted to using social media and this site to feature our greetings and wish our family and friends peace, love and happiness.
Have we really failed? Not in my mind. The money that would have been spent on cards and postage has been donated to the Mefi-Boset Orphanage in Mexicali, Baja, Mexico.
For some time now, I’ve been following, with great interest, the hiking and humanitarian adventures of an amazing, kind hearted nurse originally from our part of the globe along the Minnesota/South Dakota border. From time to time, items are purchased and delivered to the Mefi-Boset Orphanage by this individual living across the border in the United States. The images of these endeavors have spoken to my heart, especially after our visit to small villages and cities along the Copper Canyon region and northern Mexico. I am confident that our donation will provide some much needed items at the Mefi-Boset Orphanage.
Thank you, Peggy, for sharing these images of your visit and for all of your humanitarian efforts. “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
I find myself mesmerized by the process as each step is carefully, yet quickly, completed. Noticing the bare hands, I wonder how many burns occur during a typical work week. I know I would need a first aid kit within close proximity.
Because of your smile you make life more beautiful. ~Thich Nhat Hanh
While dining at a restaurant near San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, this friendly gentleman (Pictured on the left in the photo) and his wife were seated at the table next to us.
Being naturally curious we ask, “Where are you from?”
Our Minnesota Nice reflex kicks in and we begin to chat, noticing their accents do not sound like your typical Canadian.
I can’t resist… “Have you always lived in Canada?” Thus, begins their interesting tale…
Following the Fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975, the family business was taken away by the Communists and father/son were both thrown in prison. His father spent seven years in prison… Wow.
Fortunately, his sister was able to flee in a boat eventually relocating in Canada. Years later, she sponsored him, his wife and two daughters creating an opportunity for a new life in Canada. At age forty they found themselves starting over in a new country learning to understand its culture and language. As a welder and chef, they work extremely hard to make the best of their new lives, allowing them to not only survive, but also thrive. Infectious smiles along with a “glass half full” outlook on life touched our hearts. At age seventy they are still employed and have no desire to retire as long as health allows.
Growing up watching the Vietnam War on the nightly news sparked a fascination with this country and its culture. Being curious and reaching out makes history come alive and I walk away truly inspired.
Upon reading the translation of the Mayan Prayer to the Seven Directions, I sense gratitude and hope. (Click on link for full prayer)*Excerpts from the prayer: May wisdom be transformed into right action… bless us with harmonies to end all war… all hail the harmony of mind and nature. I may have a different belief system and pray to a different God than the Ancient Mayans, but I also find their prayer timeless in an earthly sense. Peace out.
The history and legacy of the Mayan people also appear to be fleeting as tourism and beaches are the key to survival. It is well worth the time to tour the historic sites of Tulum and Chichen Itza with a knowledgeable guide to learn more about their interesting past. The history of the Mayan people is kept alive through archeological sites such as these.
The run-down streets portray struggle, while the earth can feel the pulse of a proud ancestry.
HDR image of a neighborhood street in Playa del Carmen, Mexico blended with an image of a costumed Mayan gentleman taken at the Chichen Itza archeological site. Blended image layer transformed to appear to be part of the earth. Click on image for a larger viewing window.
Life can be harsh for the disabled begging on the church steps of the Cathedral de San Gervasio in Valladolid, Mexico. This is the real deal and not a scam as the locals also give money to these individuals according to Mark Moxon’s Travel Writing.
In turn, life can be harsh for the working class protecting their modest stucco homes and belongings with broken glass ledges in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.