Inheritance of Dust


As far back as anyone can remember, the tiny Mayan pueblo of Pocoboch did not exist to the world. And the world barely existed for Pocoboch. Over the centuries, a handful of outsiders managed to find the jungle village hidden in the center of the Yucatán Peninsula: colonial Spanish missionaries bestowed on the town a rustic adobe chapel—although not even the eldest of the remaining old men has any idea when it was constructed—and on the people a fierce religiosity, expressed in neither Castilian nor Latin but the Maya that, much later, Mexican government teachers would labor so vigorously to eradicate. But even few missionaries were zealous enough to venture here. Afflicted as it was with a landscape of tendrillar jungle flora stretching in steamy layers toward a turquoise sky forever dotted with cumulous clouds, Pocoboch was a village from which even fewer people escaped. A town so sequestered that forty-one years ago, when Eduardo Romero Martín turned twenty-three, the farthest he had been was the neighboring town. The journey in those days, on the only path out of Pocoboch, required a three-hour trek through the ensnaring monte; now it is a ten-minute school bus ride for Eduardo’s seventeen-year-old daughter, Geidy.

more from Lygia Navarro at VQR here.