We came from all over the republic and beyond to show our support and to run this historic “Carrera con Causa” – Race with a Cause – to enjoy the charms of a threatened yet defiant pueblo and to bask in its famous hot springs. Here are a few images from the
11th annual Carrera de Los Remedios in Temacapulín, Jalisco, which has been fighting inundation from a hydroelectric dam for more than a decade. And here is a link to Town Lives in Shadow of El Zapotillo Dam, a report I first wrote for El Daily Post in 2016, when the situation was much as it is today: the case grinds its way through the courts, while government insists, and the people resist.
Photo essay by Tracy L. Barnett.
Temacapulín at sunrise A sampling from this year’s chile harvest; Temacapulín is known for its especially spicy chile de arbol. Handmade tortillas on the plaza Children try their hand at selling their chile and peanuts Padre Gabriel Espinoza and sister Beatriz, two of the stalwarts of the Temaca resistance. Runners in the Children’s Cross-Country Race Basilica de los Remedios – home to Nuestra Señora de los Remedios – was founded in 1759. The church celebrated its 250th Jubilee in 2009 – under the threat of inundation by El Zapotillo Dam. If there is no justice for the people, may there be no peace for the government. Lonchería Nelly proudly displays two faded signs that have appeared around town in various forms for the past decade: We will not surrender Nor will we sell Here we stay! Temaca Lives! The struggle continues! The eyes of the world are set on Temaca The “Cristo de las Peñitas” (Christ of the Cliffs) first appeared on the cliffs above the chapel in the 1850s, and has kept watch over the village ever since. Dancers from a nearby village perform classic folkloric dances, this one from Veracruz… … and this one from Jalisco. The tower of the town’s beloved Basilica in the pre-dawn light. Mist rises from the valleys around Temaculín each morning in the rainy season. Temacapulín resists! The people rule, the state obeys! Temaca in resistance Temaca is not alone! A photograph of a resistance action is screen-printed on a wall near the plaza. Church tower at dawn “Temacapulín Salutes You Since the 6th Century” – the hilltop greeting is a statement of the town’s antiquity – and its determination to survive. The old panteón (cemetery) at dawn Race organizers begin their setup before sunrise. Young runners head for the starting line. Runners anxiously await the starting bell. Padre Gabriel, who ended up coming in second, takes the mic before the run to cheer on his fellow racers. The crowd grows… …And we’re off! The course includes a river crossing… …And a runner in the middle of the road who was down for the count. The author shows off her first 5K jersey and medal. After the race, Rigoberto, who has come from Pasadena, Calif., and other racers relax and cheer on the last arrivals. Jade Ramírez, journalist and partner of Temaca runner and activist Cruz Rodríguez, and their daughter Ollin – a baby born of the resistance. Crowds line the streets and continue to cheer each runner … … even as the last stragglers come in. Jade and Ollin take their place in the tiny tot category of the children’s race. Ollin isn’t so sure she wants to run… but Mom and Superman allay her fears. Winners in each class receive their trophies – beginning with the children’ classes. Cruz Ramírez came in first in the Master’s category. Alfonso Iñiguez Pérez, one of the founders of the Carrera de los Remedios, began running in marathons at the age of 50. Here he shows the collection of medals he has won – including second place in 1993. Alfonso, or Don Poncho, as he is fondly known, brings a chair for a guest to his restaurant, Mesón Mama Tachita. A visiting choir from the city of Ocotlán, Voces de Oro (Voices of Gold) honors the runners with a concert after the Mass, which was also dedicated to the runners. The church was filled to overflowing until the last few songs. Padre Gabriel, whose grandmother was born in Temaca, grew up in Guadalajara with long visits to his ancestral pueblo. When the dam was announced, he decided to move here permanently and make it is home. Voces de Oro pose for a photo with Padre Gabriel (center) before heading back down the long road to Ocotlán. Don Poncho, who offers historical walking tours of Temaca, in front of the 200-year-old house he converted into the family restaurant Mesón Mama Tachita. “One cannot struggle for what one does not love,” reads the sign above the antique door. A family relaxes in one of the town’s famous hot springs Besides its trademark chile de árbol, Temaca is known for a special type of longaniza, or sausage, ideal for grilling. Isaura Guzmán, village elder and resistance stalwart, and son Gabriel Gutierrez Guzmán Padre Rodolfo, Don Poncho, Isaura and Gabriel, from left – four pillars of the Temaca resistance. Padre Gabriel has begun an agroecological education center near the Basilica called “Noah’s Ark Farm.” Rio Verde, the river that has been dammed by the Zapotillo Dam, has served as food and transport and recreation for the area’s inhabitants since time immemorial. Padre Gabriel Espinoza, right, with fellow hydroelectric dam opponent Norma Castañeda Romero, municipal councilwoman of the threatened town of Moyahua de Estrada, Zacatecas. The agroecology education center includes a large tent campsite in the forest near the river, a primitive sleeping shelter and a traditional farm. Three wounded doves of water: Temaca Resists.
El Zapotillo Dam Hydroelectric Dams Jalisco Mexico Temaca Temacapulin