Friday, January 02, 2009

The silence of the jaguar

How do you spell adventure?


Alfonso Valdez caught the tail end of the chicle fever that invaded the still largely virgin jungle during the boom years. "The chiclero camps were like small towns and there were dances every weekend," the 69-year-old says, reminiscing about the communities accessible only by small plane and lots of walking. "Nobody dared leave before the season was over, and if they tried to walk out alone we would find their torn-up clothes and assume they'd been eaten by a jaguar." Valdez now runs a much more modest camp at the end of a logging track on the edge of the Calakmul rainforest reserve where Baños and another nine veteran chicleros have lived since July and will stay until February. —Guardian

(Via Dzyd Kaela)

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