Puerto Chiapas, Mexico

TUESDAY FEB 4 DAY 10

Stop 6

So Monday I was able to spare you another post ….we had a day at sea traveling 200 miles south from Acapulco. ….and now we are at our final stop in Mexico.

Wrapping up Mexico….I had know idea that the country has 4 time zones ….and as you travel south for whatever reason, your phone will not update automatically ….

But that said , we are now in Chiapas (CST)…10 miles north of Guatemala

Chiapas is the southern most state in Mexico bordering on Guatemala. It is made up of mountainous highlands, dense rainforests and abundant natural resources. The rainforests are where you will find the Myen architectural sites.

Chiapas is the poorest state in Mexico… due to high illiteracy and lack of infrastructure. The hourly wage is $2.43 and 76% live below poverty level…..

But surprisingly even with the poverty it is the safest area in all of Mexico.

Puerto Chiapas, the port, was developed in 1975 as a shipping terminal for produce in the region.

In 1995 the thatched roof wlecome center,
was built to develop tourism….today about 12 ships come to port annually.
with that as a background ….our day started with a welcome from local dancers in traditional costume.
The dresses and colors of there costumes are magnificent …. rich, bright and vibrant.
Next are the marimba players. This was a new term for me…..I thought the instrument looked like some sort of overgrown xylophone.

The marimba was developed in Mexico/Guatemala in the late 19’th century . The music is extremely popular and is played for fiestas and special occasions. The marimba sound is considered the “magic”of their music.
…. throughout the welcome center are stalls of crafts produced by local artists..

I always wondered what the deal is with those skulls in all the art …

It turns out skulls represent the spirits of the deceased as a way of “honoring the dead”….
To me it’s a little creepy

So the port was an interesting introduction …but given what we had read about Chiapas we wanted to find out what the real world was like, beyond the beautiful grounds of the welcome center….

So off for a bus ride to the city center.

Tapachula is a city of about 400k. The ride was about 45 minutes…. passing acres of farmland producing fresh produce….bananas, mango, corn, coffee and sugarcane …. even passed the farms of Chiquita banana.

As we got closer to the city you could get a sense of
the urban areas.
And Spices from the fields are sold in baskets cinnamon, vanilla, sesame etc
And coffee is sold Everywhere

Germans migrated to Chiapas in the late 1800’s developing the coffee plantations which were followed by Asian immigrants to work the fields. Coffee and agriculture are still staples of the economy.

Arriving in Tapachula City Center… Tapachula has become a sort of melting pot … having been populated in the past by locals, Germans and Chinese….but in the past ten years Chiapas experienced an influx of immigrants …..Africans,Venezuelans and Cubans.
The city square has a church cornering one end and the museum on the other
In the center is a Statue of the popular President
Juárez
BTW …these guys did not want there pic taken so I was lucky they did not punch me out … they were sitting in front of the prez so I had no choice… that is why one guy is turned … wonder what theses guys did to make them so camera shy ????
….the square is very hot. The average temperature ranges from 95 degrees to 112
So everyone hangs under the trees
Though the pics don’t show it.. the city is extremely crowded … cars everywhere, people
everywhere sitting around on the ground…as if it was a leisurely Sunday ( it is actually Tuesday). I assume it is the high unemployment
City Street
flea market style stalls everywhere with the exception of a new Sams Club and Walmart on the outskirts of town
Trunk deliveries to the markets
Pedicab looking to give someone a ride
Pedicab around town
Shoe shine is big business
And they are everywhere …literally in this small square there were over 50. I was wondering what they were shining …..with the invention of sneakers… but it looks like alot of the guys are still wearing boots
So most people that were not sitting on the ground were either shining shoes or selling something
….I did find a barber shop of sorts in the square … haircuts outside in the open market, trimming hair with a raw razor blade … I guess everyone is trying to make a living
At the end of the square was the church
Church side alter
On the opposite corner of the square is the Mayan
Museum
A beautiful building from the front that explains the history and culture
But hard to believe.. this is the Back of that same museum … the juxtaposition reminds me of the new cruise ship Port and the contrast of the actual city… what Chiapas wants to be …but what it still actually is today.
So … if you want to visit … a 3 star hotel is $25 a night and 5 star $35.
For me …a few hours was enough… interesting but ready to head back

On our way to Guatemala….10 miles down the road….we have now traveled by sea about 2500 nautical miles (a little over 2500 miles)….next stop Central America.

12 thoughts on “Puerto Chiapas, Mexico

  1. Thanks Janienne …. it has been fun. Wish you were here with me … glad you are enjoying the posts…. a lot of work but the learning is a lot of fun…. have to try and stimulate these old brain cells. 😘

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  2. Hi Julie
    Amazing pictures and narration! Been watching you…you are having fun that’s what it’s all about! I’m enjoying it too😍❤️

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  3. On our trip to Tapachula our guide pointed out that they had a large influx of immigrants in the last decade from Venezuela,Cuba and Africa and we would see a lot of them approaching us to sell something. The thing that amazed me were the number of people who were offering to shine peoples shoes. I felt lucky to be wearing sneakers on this day

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