The Place Within the Pines

For the past week we have been in the mountains of southern Oaxaca, working in a community called San Sebastian Rio Hondo (and not Puerto Angel as stated above, but that was the closest option on the list). We are staying and working with a British-born woman called Anisha undertaking tasks such as sowing, weeding, composting, helping to look after poorly animals, and soon a bit of construction too. E and I get on really well with Anish; she is funny, warm, and knows loads about all sorts too. We didn’t get on so well with a couple of other volunteers that were here but they left this morning.

The surroundings are very, very beautiful. The village is located on the sides of the mountains approximately 2700 metres above sea level, making it probably the highest altitude I have been in my life outside of an aeroplane. It’s largely home to Mexicans and indigenous Zapotec families but apart from Anisha there are about five other non-Mexican families, all of whom are American. Everyone we have met is incredibly welcoming to us and we try our best to talk with them in Spanish. There are also all sorts of lovely animals around, due in part to Anisha being a vet. There are two dogs, Negro and Boonchow, as well as cat Frida and a host of other rabbits, turkeys, chickens, lizards, and butterflies. The landscape is outstanding, though the forest has suffered the same fate that so many others around the world have: mass planting of pine trees for logging, massively reducing biodiversity due to acidic pine needles smothering the forest floor. Still, I have some beautiful photos to show you when I can get to a connection fast enough to upload such things.

Anisha has gone away this morning too, leaving us alone in the house until Monday. We expect to be in this place until the end of April so don’t expect to hear too much from us until next month. Hope you’ve all been enjoying the blog so far. Thanks for reading!

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