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Valparaiso, Mexico

Valparaiso is a nice, small place untouched by time. Pepa and Beto Camorra are two personalities not to be missed while the thermals at Atotonilco in the outskirts of town are amongst the biggest highlights.

Valparaiso is the next municipality after Fresnillo. Smaller and of course, even more isolated, than Fresnillo, Valparaiso is a place wherein time stood still. This makes Valparaiso’s identity so much more about it’s people than Fresnillo in some way. Pepa, the escapularios vendor and Beto Camorra, are examples of their numerous personalities. I focused on them because they are ubiquitous and relatively easy to capture. Beto Camorra almost hit my camera with his stick! It took more than 2 tries to catch him doing his thing…being Beto.

Valparaiso is beautiful, its many ranchos and its landscape can’t be found anywhere else. I love the natural hot springs at Atotonilco, which is a landmark for it has been there like forever. Dip at the famous “Pela-pollos” pool and discover why it has this wacky name to it. Or, just take a relaxing time to bathe yourself in the private cabines, and don’t forget to not stay there for too long as some people have fainted more than once because of poor ventilation.

The coolest thing to do in Valparaiso has to be going to the “jardin” in the afternoon and kick it with the locals, eating nice “duros” with salsa, tamales or just plain tacos right there. Valparaiso’s identity relies in the social aspect of these communal gatherings that so often have disappeared in Mexico which are still held with much enthusiasm right here.

I took a lot of pictures of Pepa, she’s great! I love her, I even made drawings of her too. At 6am, just when the sun starts rising, she starts washing her piece of sidewalk and she also starts to sing. Everybody in Independencia Street knows it’s time to get out of bed because they hear Pepa’s singing.

written by fmadera

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