We arrived to obviously heavy police presence in and around the zocalo, learning a few hours later that the night before, police in full riot gear were sent in to dismantle and remove the stands set up by vendors. Basically, the argument goes something like this: they are there illegally, not paying rent for the space they use to sell their goods.

In forty minutes, the job was done. Bulldozers were sent in to clean up the mess.

The flip side is that the vendors are trying to eek out an existence, using public space to set up their small business in a town and country where “getting-by” requires creativity, persistence, and perhaps taking chances that could end up with your “getting-by”-action getting destroyed by the enforcement of law.

Like all things, a truth lies in there somewhere, meaning it is not simply one side or the other. Such is the reality everywhere.

Here on assignment and conducting field work, our hotel room has a great view of the city and surrounding mountains. Templo de Santo Domingo is ever-present.

There is nothing like a big church sitting in Latin America where indigenous peoples still thrive, though meagerly, and people from around the world come and go after a few days, to upend your mind, especially as a visitor/traveler.

Complex colonial legacies are excellent contemplation for morning coffee.

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independent writer

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