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.
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.