I drop by Jilo Mancinas’ little hovel of a house in Areponapuchi. The front area serves as a garden, grazing area for Jilos ponies and parking for his beat up little pickup.
Jesinia comes to the door. The pure beauty of this little girl flows. She and her sister Daniela live here with there parents. Daniela is actually in school now in Chihuahua- I have no clue how they pay for this.
Little Jesinia says her dad is out working. Fifteen minutes later I am running along the only road in “town” and I flag down Jilo. We set a time in two hours to take a ride. I tell him no group- just me- and he looks a bit downcast. He needs the money from a big group.
Jilo shows up with two gaunt, but sure footed horses and we head up through the pines. Over rock inclines we climb past verdant fields of corn, beans, squash, and potatoes in the Tarahumara ejido.
Then up to incredible vistas…the far green fields of the Pomochi plateau.
Two hours goes fast and we are back at Mansion Tarahumara.
I pull out 500 pesos (typically a ride is 250)…about $35 USD. To me this is a shy tank of gas, a night out, 1/30th of a mortgage, a low water bill, 10 bottles of Charles Shaw.
But Jilo’s response communicates it is much more to him. He offers change and I say no, kepp it all.
Off comes his hat and up go several “Gracias Adios” and he crosses himself over and over.
His eyes are wet.
To Jilo and his family it is food.