Sergio Castro's Museum of Highland Chiapas
photos by Don and Lois Porter

Our guidebook recommended calling up Sergio Castro to make an appointment to see his museum. Our interest was further piqued by a strong recommendation from Raul, who was our guide when we first visited Chamula and Zinancantan. Raul described Sergio as a healer and savior of many rural indigenous people. We called and made an appointment a week in advance. That turned out to be a mistake: 2 days in advance is all that it is possible to plan ahead. So we rescheduled, and got the correct current address as well (he had moved). Sergio met us at the door and gave us a personally guided tour of his museum -- lots of artifacts, but especially highlighted by the traditional clothing representative of each of a dozen local communities. We got demonstrations of tools (like the spinning stick), and a few stories thrown in. After 45 minutes or so, another group arrived, so Sergio left us to explore. One room was dedicated to awards, clippings, and photos of his "work". For about 40 years, Sergio has worked to aid indigenous people in Chiapas (he's originally from Chihuahua). His specialties are: healing burns (which are common), educating people on health and sanitation, and building schools. He doesn't get government aid to do this. He apparently gets his support from tourists: we saw him leading a large tour group in Chamula during Carnaval.

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Feathered wedding huipil from Zinacantan Bachajón woman's attire Sergio with spinning stick Tenajapa dress and bag

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