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The Water Boils

Hierve El Agua, San Lorenzo Albarradas, Oaxaca

Hierve el Agua is a spectacular travertine formation outside of the capital city of Oaxaca. It is a very popular tourist destination. Like many, it was closed during the pandemic. Mexicans were and are much more sensible about Covid 19 than Americans. There was no politicization here. Early on, there was limited information, and access to vaccines trailed the US by about three months. Nevertheless, people waited hours in line to get their shots, and the percentage vaccinated is now equal or better to that of the United States. Masks are still worn by almost everyone except a percentage of entitled and often arrogant American tourists, temperatures are taken, hand sanitizer used. If you go by the NYT map, cases per capita are far lower than in the States.

Hierve el Agua was closed longer than most of the bigger tourist destinations, such as pre-Columbian sites like Monte Alban and Mitla. There are two communities who control access to the site, one via the autopista, and one by a dirt road over the mountain. They were in dispute for some time over whether to open to tourists. One did, the other didn’t. It got unpleasant for a while. I chose to stay away until they reached an accord. That finally happened in July, so I took a couple visiting friends up. We went in by autopista and (accidentally) left by the mountain road, which was gorgeous. Here are a few shots.

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