Zegache stories

Zegache Stories - an introduction
17 Mar 2013 - 18 Mar 2013
What is it like to live in St. Ana Zegache? In March 2013, two workshops in trans-medial storytelling were held with young people and adults from the pueblo, giving them an opportunity to document in their own words and photographs what it is like to live there. Participants were asked to create two brief stories, the first focusing on what they saw as the most important features of the town, and the second a more personal story from their own lives.

In words and photographs, they described what it means to them to live in Zegache, what is good about the place, what is not so good and what they miss when they are away. The workshop was organized and led by Karin Becker, Professor of Media and Communication Studies at Stockholm University, as part of a media research project called “Changing Places”. For these sessions she worked with Patricia Tovar, an anthropologist and art curator, who also served as translator. The six adults who participated were Verónica Aquino Ambrocio, José Louis Gutiérrez Mendoza, Angeles Leon Diaz, Maria Dolores Lopez Ramirez (Dolores), José Louis Venegas Chompa and Juana Reyes Mendoza. The five young participants were Laura Jessica Chompa Aquino, Karen Nayely Chompa Aquino, Edith Araceli Gutierrez Mendoza, Rigoberto Mendoza Díaz, and José Clemente Reyes Morales. The workshops were funded through a grant from the Swedish Research Council with additional organizational support provided by the Talleres Communitarios, where the workshops met.

Each group began by sketching a map of the town, drawing in places that were important to include in their stories. After a brief introduction in how to use the digital cameras, they went out together to take pictures of the town. They then selected and sequenced five of their photographs as a visual narrative, and recorded their stories as the group looked at their pictures. They then took the cameras home to take pictures that would tell a more personal story about their own lives. The next day they showed these photographs and recorded these stories as the other members of the group listened. Each person received a disc with all their photographs and both their stories, and Patricia translated the stories into English.

What came through in the adults’ stories of the town was the centrality of the church, the importance of religious sites and rich agricultural traditions, but also the threats to these from pollution and inadequate waste disposal. Personal stories touch on themes of family life, the responsibility of maintaining family ties, and the strains placed on these ties by migration, both within Mexico and to the US. Many also mentioned the handicrafts and art projects they pursued, in their work and in their free time.

The young people’s stories focused on how they would describe Zegache to a person their own age who had never been there. They included photographs of the park, the new basketball court, and local video and candy shops. In their personal stories, the young people often focused on family members, and included pictures of themselves engaged in activities they enjoyed.

A few people in each group had included old photographs from the town, of themselves and of their families within their stories. One woman, Dolores, brought her collection of old photographs of important landmarks and local residents, which led to a broader discussion of histories of the town, its traditions and its residents, as well as how things in Zegache had changed.

As the workshop came to an end, the groups talked about how seeing these photographs and making their own images affected their perspectives on the town and their own lives. They discussed the value of these visual narratives, what they could mean for the community and how they might use them in the future, for example, by making a web-based archive about Zegache. Karin explained how she would use the results in her research, to look more closely at the different ‘ways of seeing’ reflected in their stories, and to develop the method as a way to exchange life experiences across cultures, including the experience of migration and the ongoing importance of the place one is from.

The church was the first place the group decided definitely to visit. José Luis takes the initiative.
Soon everyone has joined in.
José/Chelión draws in the river. Everyone says water is very important here.
Yes, there is a lot of trash around, and it's important to show that, too.
This is an agricultural town, and we will need to take pictures of the fields.
The group begins to discuss in what order they will visit all the places on their "map".
Everyone tries out the cameras.
With six in the group and only five cameras, Juana and Ches decided to share a camera
The churchyard next to the Talleres is the first stop on the photographic tour of Zegache
On the steps of the church
The watchman unlocked the tower, so we could take the steps up to the roof of the church.
The jacarandas are in bloom and there are wonderful views over the valley and the town.
The next place to visit is the big 'mogote,' but on the way Veronica sees a pile of trash to document
Veronica and Angeles take pictures of a part of Zegache that is "not so good".
Angeles photographed her family's goats
The biggest of Zegache's seven "mogote".
The group sees two men coming home from their day's work.
And everyone wants to take their picture!
They don't mind, and actually stop and pose.
We walked out to the fields, and stopped for some close-ups of the alfalfa plants.
The alfalfa stretches out toward the horizon, beyond the edge of town.
As the sun was setting, we headed back to the Talleres
Stopping to take pictures of the new chapel, Dolores succeeds in capturing a picture of St. Ana inside.
José/Ches presents his story of Zegache for the group
Chelión's story of Zegache includes the mountain Maria Sanchez, a picture he took from the top of the church. Stories about this mountain appeared in several of the narratives.
The all-important sources of water were also part of many stories of the town, including Chelión's.
Veronica has included a picture she took of her daughters in her personal story.
 Veronica had also photographed these pre-hispanic whistles, and included in her story how she and her husband found them while digging in their field.
My name is Ángeles León Díaz
10 Mar 2013 - 16 Mar 2013

I am 40 years old. I was born in Santa Ana Zegache, and have lived here since then. My children and I live here and my husband is in San Francisco California. I have two children: my son is 20 and is called Angel Omar Martinez Leon, my daughter is 19 and her name is Elizabeth Guadalupe Martinez Leon. My husband's name is Jaime Gaspar Martinez. I do a a little of everything, housework and sell different brands of perfumes. I work in the fields, growing corn and alfalfa that I sell. I also grow corn for our household, for the family.

My name is Ángeles León Díaz
Here in my community we  have many traditions about saints around the church. We have Dulce Nombre (The Sweet Name of Jesus)...
...that is old and was found in the bottom of a well by people of Santa Ana Zegache who brought him to the church. That’s what we celebrate in February and the annual fair is a week before the carnival.
To survive people grow corn, beans, squash and alfalfa. Also many people migrate to the United States.
Years ago the alfalfa was transported by donkeys, now we also use carts which is a little easier. Alfalfa is watered with water from the wells that each person has on his land; this is a form of support for the community.
The community also has a restoration workshop from which young people have benefited and so have not migrated.  Most men from the community are in the United States
My name is Ángeles León Díaz
I am Angeles and this is my home. For me after work, what I like most is to stay at home because we live in a remote place without any noise, with no one around to interrupt us.
When I arrive home in the afternoon I water the plants and the trees; it is very good for me and is what I like to do.
Those are my trees that I have at home.
This is my well. What I like most about my well is that it has lived with us for the 20 years we have lived here. That’s why we take care of it. Because of the well, we can water the trees and that's the reason I keep my house full of plants.
There is another thing that I really like, and it is when the Cultural Mission came to town. I am very happy to have made some things for myself. For example I built this closet. I did it by  myself with my own hands and that's what pleases me with the things I've done.  I've always wanted to take a photography course and this course helped me to realize my dream. I could take pictures and that is part of my dream.
My name is José Luis Gutierrez Mendoza. I'm often called Ches.
10 Mar 2013 - 16 Mar 2013

I am 27 years old. I have been working at Talleres Comunitarios for two years now. I left an education in electronic engineering because of lack of resources, now that I have the opportunity to work here. I am learning wood carving and other crafts.
I was born here, in Santa Ana Zegache. In my childhood my family and I moved a lot because my dad was in the military and we were constantly changing places and came here only once a season. But 10 years ago we settled down here permanently in Santa Ana Zegache.
Right now I live with my two sisters. The younger one is 13 years old and the other one is 24 years old, and she has a one-year-old baby. We are helping her raise him. She sells chicken in the market here in the community.
My younger sister is in middle school. Her name is Araceli Edith and the older sister is called Rosa. My parents are divorced and they are not with us right now; they live elsewhere.

My name is José Luis Gutierrez Mendoza
My name is José Luis Gutierrez Mendoza. I'm often called Ches.
Here in Santa Ana Zegache activities begin early. Usually the father works in the field and the eldest son helps and they go together to the field during the day. This has been done for a long time and is something of a tradition that has been practiced for generations.
The work in the field is agricultural; growing corn and such. Most things that are planted follow the seasons, but there's always plenty to do in the field. Sometimes you cannot keep up with the work.
Women often stay at home; they are in charge of raising animals such as turkeys, chickens and other pets and they also do housework
They carry out activities like going to the market or making tortillas. They take care of the food for those who go into the field. They do it all for their children. For a long time this has been done this way, and is still like this today.
But this way of life is also endangered, because for example, when someone gets sick we don’t have enough resources to cover the costs and this is a difficulty. It is a problem that often leads to migration or to doing other  work like crafts.
My name is José Luis Gutierrez Mendoza
I'll tell you about my life or how I see my life. I feel my life is like a chess board. I have practiced and understand many things about this game and I have adopted as part of how to live.
At first I wanted… or well, I´m remembering an anecdote; I once asked my mother what I wanted to be when I was little, and she was cooking, and she said that I wanted to be a pilot and that was important because I knew it was my childhood dream.
My life has been very different, had many faces. I have done many things. Among them I have highlighted dance since childhood, folk dance.
I’m also very interested in math. Most of my life was focused on mathematics and I think is very nice to understand many things and to learn more and more.
I left a career in engineering and right now I do wood carving. I've been doing such a different things, and sometimes they are totally separate from each other. But I can do all of them and a few times I've received recognition for what I've done.
 Now after all that I have experienced, I conclude or I understand, as I said earlier, that my life is like a chess game. I can understand how a pawn can have aspirations to one day may be crowned
My name is Maria Dolores Lopez Ramirez
10 Mar 2013 - 16 Mar 2013

I am from the city of Queretaro. I was born and grew up there until I got married 20 years ago with a person from here. I work here at home, and in Querétaro I work for a company. I am trained in quality control, that's why I work there and not here, because in Oaxaca there is no job for me, that's why I work at home.
I have been married for 20 years, but I have spent 10 of those years elsewhere. I have lived in Ixtepec City and Querétaro, but six years ago I returned to Santa Ana Zegache.
I have two children. One is 17 and the other is 13, and they are both in school. When we are here we work in the field with my husband. We also have animals. We raise sheep and sell them. Here I work at different things, I mend clothes, sew napkins, pretty much anything. These are my stories about Zegache and about me (click the images below).

My name is Maria Dolores Lopez Ramirez
I will tell you what surprised me when I came to Oaxaca. First the seven Mogotes, here you can see one. . I show this because I had never seen one before I came here.
When you come to Santa Ana Zegache, you should come to the church and here you will see a very colorful church unlike anywhere else but in the state of Oaxaca, especially in the district of Ocotlan.
If you take a tour around it seems that time stopped because we have many alleys, and is very nice if you appreciate really old things
We can also find wells...
...water can be extracted with ropes or a pump
You can still see sheepherding; you can see people with their animals.
If you want to find out more about Santa Ana ask people about  María  Sanchez  hill. Santa Ana Zegache is down that hill.
My name is Maria Dolores Lopez Ramirez
I would like to talk about my family. My family is very large. There are 70 grandchildren!  These are my parents. They decided to form their family 46 years ago. My dad is Mr. José López Martínez. My mother Mrs. Delfina Ramirez Nieves. They have have eight children and I'm the oldest.
When I arrived to Zegache I saw the land that’s my home now. We started from zero.  It took a lot of effort to build up. We began from almost nothing, with a reed house, as many families began.
Now this is how my house looks like, it has been very hard  because we don´t have too much, and we want to do more.
We want to build and fix the house, but the economy is not helping us. Although we are proud of the little that we have because we started from zero, with nothing.
So now my family. Here is my son Erick Jesus, and this is my other son Beto, and my husband Mateo Velasco. We have had many problems but nevertheless at the end we are together as we started. That's all.
My name is Veronica Aquino Ambrocio
10 Mar 2013 - 16 Mar 2013

I am 31 years old; I was born in Santa Ana Zegache and have not had the opportunity to go to different places. We are four: two daughters and my husband and me. A girl is 15, the other is 9.
I am dedicated to home, I am a housewife but I help my husband with the expenses by selling cakes and toast in a school, and my husband works here in Talleres Comunitarios. On Saturdays and Sundays we have time to go to the field and plant corn, beans and a little of vegetables, we do what we can because we only have two days per week. I use my free time to make shawls, embroider with ribbons and other things.

My name is Veronica Aquino Ambrocio
The church that we have is very old, older people tell us that there was an earthquake and  the church was damaged. At that time there were few people living here and they had to find and bring eggs and nopales, and they made adobe with clay.
We also have the hill Teta de Maria Sanchez, named after a time when there was a downpour that flooded all the other towns. But one woman ran ahead of the flood and reached the top of the hill, the water only came up the stones. The truth is the lady did not hesitate, but left right away, and when the flood was over she realized nothing happened. They say that God did not allow her to come back as a person but as a dog. And as the story goes that is why the hill is called Maria Sanchez.
We now have a lot of pollution and trash. Before we did not use plastic bags, we used plant leaves instead, such as “Hoja de San Pablo” or “hoja de grilla”, for example the meat was wrapped in leaves.
The Mogotes also have stories. There are seven Mogotes, and each has a story. For example, this one in the center is haunted. Once a man got lost for a year inside the Mogote, but his wife was a witch, so he was able to escape. After a year he came back from inside the mogote and told what had happened.
Everyone grows corn and beans; these are basic food for the town. A  90- year-old grandma said that a long time ago there was no food, not even beans or corn. People who were rich and had some corn had to mix the corn with a plant called garbanzo and the ladies had to make tortillas at night. That's why now people care so much  for the corn and beans and are sure to always have some in home.
My name is Veronica Aquino Ambrocio
I want to show you my house.
We live here with our girls. We have two daughters, and with my husband and me, that makes four. We have a dog.
 We like having trees and plants. Some trees give us fruit.
I married when I was 16. When I got married the mother of my husband taught me how to make tortillas. This has become very important because we all love the handmade tortillas.
On the weekends my husband and I like to go to the field where we grow some vegetables, beans and corn. One day digging there my husband found these whistles. These are prehispanic figures, and we have kept them in the house because we think they important.
 Our transport is the wagon that we have in our yard.
My name is José Luis Venegas Chompa. I'm often called Chelión.
10 Mar 2013 - 16 Mar 2013

I am 27 years old. I was born in Veracruz, and I have been living here in Santa Ana for 20 years, my parents are from Zegache. We all lived in Michoacan for two years, then three years in Mexico City and from there we came back to Zegache. Later I went to Oregon and I was there eight years. Now I'm back working in Talleres Comunitarios to learn restoration and different things related to that. We are three brothers, plus my mom and dad. My brother who is 21 years old is in Oregon now. My 16-year-old brother, he is studying now. My parents work in agriculture and livestock, and I help whenever I can in the field.

My name is José Luis Venegas Chompa
My name is José Luis Venegas Chompa. I'm often called Chelión.
For me Zegache used to be a ghost town that was dedicated only to agriculture...
 .. using water from wells...
 to grow corn and for the animals.
People used the animals for work, for carrying wood up the hill and  cook food.
Now Zegache is moving forward culturally through the church.
Actually Zegache is well-known in different places and for me and some other people we are no longer a ghost town. Thanks to the church and the Talleres Comunitarios of Zegache.
My name is José Luis Venegas Chompa. I'm often called Chelión.
Well I'm going to tell my story about when I went to the United States, and how I got there. The first thing is you have to leave the family.  You fix everything because you're going to face many dangers crossing streams and rivers.
You do not know what you can find there and yet you cannot think about that, only about what you want to achieve.
You have to feel hunger, and forget about your family, and especially you learn to appreciate what you have at home because, well personally, I did not value it. When I was smaller, when I had like 13 or 14 years I argued a lot with my mom and yelled. When I went to USA  I learned to appreciate all that I have. But then my mom got sick.
Well, actually now my mother is still sick, she has diabetes.  Sometimes  I feel guilty about her sickness and about the things I did  when I was here, and when I was in Oregon. Before this workshop I never told anyone that I felt guilty about her illness.
Sometimes while you are here you don’t appreciate the freedom you have in your house and in your land because you are free to walk wherever you want.
After all the things that you need to overcome in order to live, and after all the problems, you can achieved the goal that you wanted.  That’s why I went there; to have a house for my mom.  My dad and I built this house, but I always remember how guilty I feel for the illness of my mother because I caused her anger, and our arguments lead to her being sick. That’s all.
My name is Juana Reyes Mendoza
10 Mar 2013 - 16 Mar 2013

I am 28 years old.
I live at home and help my mom with the housework. We are four, my father, my mother, my son and me. My brothers are out working; one of my brothers is in Mexico City and the other one is in Mazatlan. My son is 5 years old, his name is Cristian Said, my mom is Florencia and my dad is Matías. My mom works in the field and my dad too. I help them with that work. Well, I was in Guadalajara for six years and also one year I was in Mexico City. I have worked here in Talleres Comunitarios and also learned something about restoration.
I enjoy working with restoration. I am a single mother.

My name is Juana Reyes Mendoza
This is the church of my town, Santa Ana Zegache...
and inside you can find the village patron saint, Santa Ana.
Here the men mostly work in the fields, planting beans, alfalfa, chickpeas, and crops to feed their animals.
Here we mostly plant during the rainy season. I think in many places people do this because not everybody has a well to irrigate their crops.
The village is very famous for the hill of María Sanchez. It has many stories, legends told by the elders, but now when we ask our parents to tell us the legends, they do not know and therefore I do not remember any.
In the village there are seven mogotes and that´s why the town is called Santa Ana Zegache, because "gache" in our language (zapotec) is seven and "Zet" is mogote (hillock), and therefore the town is called Zegache.
In the village there is a restoration workshop where people from here can learn skills and find a way to get ahead. I did not know the workshop existed until I was invited to learn restoration. I am thankful that I've learned this and now I can work and support my son.
My name is Juana Reyes Mendoza
This is my back yard.  One day I came from work and found it covered with hail. It had just finished hailing. This is where I live. I was born in this house.
I left the town and went to Guadalajara for six years. I was there to help my parents, doing what I could, and sending them some money.  There I met the father of my child but the relationship did not work. When I came back here I was already with child.
He is my son, and because of him I´m trying to move forward and succeed. We do not have any support from his father. But I do have my parents. They help me and take care my son when I go to work, and I help them with some money for the house expenses.
When I came back I received a scholarship through Talleres Comunitarios  and learned  restoration. I like this work and I want to continue with the restoration.
And in my free time I do embroidery.
My name is Laura Jessica Chompa Aquino.
10 Mar 2013 - 16 Mar 2013

My name is Laura Jessica Chompa Aquino and I´m 15 years old.

These are my stories. The first one is about my town, and the second one is about my life, in case other kids my age want to learn more about how it is to live in Zegache.</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
The story of my people begins with the image of María Sánchez hill, because in the past there were no houses or buildings or big constructions. People lived in houses made with carrizo or in huts. This, picture shows what the hill looks like. We know that, before, it had more green areas but now that is being lost to pollution, garbage burning and forest fires.
The second photo is of the Mogote of Santa Ana Zegache. The town is called Santa Ana named after the mother of the virgin. She is “la patrona”, and Zegache means the seven Mogotes. This is the main Mogote that is in the center of the town. There is a legend that this is a magic Mogote. A long time ago, two buddies were exploring it and one of them saw a store inside the Mogote and went inside. A year passed before he came out again. He thought they had spent few seconds inside but had been so lo
The community has grown, here we see how people live. The mountain dominates the town. The principal occupation of people is to work in the fields, as well as raising cattle, and this is the way that people live in my community.
The church has been restored. A long time ago there was a big earthquake that caused a lot of damage. The church was ruined, but people did nothing to fix it. Then Mr. Rodolfo Morales, a painter, helped us restore the church and put up the bell, paint it and put more touches from his art. Now it is one of the three most beautiful churches around Oaxaca and has a museum and the church has a rich history.
The most recent construction is the chapel at the entrance of the village, which has a video inside about Santa Ana, teaching the Bible to the Virgin Mary, and my story ends here.
My name is Laura Jessica Chompa Aquino
My story begins in school because it is the main place where I meet my best friends and we can see here that I have friends with different personalities and that really doesn’t matter.  None of us care, really
We accept ourselves as we are and with friends we joke around and we get along great, and I study and most of my friends do too.  But some friends often say that they cannot go to school because of personal problems but we try to relax and move on.
In this picture you can see how we do not mind our age, we have fun and we do not like to get into alcohol or cigarettes or whatever.
An important part is to study and here we see that everyone has different skills and we transform school into something fun and we don’t stress ourselves.
We help each other, we give advice, we like to work on projects that have to do with nature, or recycling. We are very close friends who do things together. This is how young people live here in Santa Ana Zegache.
My name is Karen Nayhelli Chompa Aquino.
10 Mar 2013 - 16 Mar 2013

My name is Karen Nayhelli Chompa Aquino. I´m in fourth grade of the elementary school Benito Juárez

My name is Karen Nayhelli Chompa Aquino.
This photo shows how people live now, well but also how they lived before with animals, in houses made with reed.
This is the football field, it was made for people who like to watch games can sit and feel fine and be protected from the sun.
This is the dam that is next to a hill called the hill of Maria Sanchez...
...and the chapel which is a project made by people who came from Sweden to do it.
 And this is the garden at the center of the town. Before there were not so many plants and trees, but now we have a lot.
My name is Karen Nayhelli Chompa Aquino
When I was about three years old, I was very naughty. I used to hit other kids my age. When I went to school the first day, I hit a girl and my mom had to talk with the director, but when I got older I stopped being like that.
I really like to dance, I went out of town to participate in dance with other schools. I also belong to the  “La pluma” dance group
I'm the Zehuapila and I was rewarded for this.
I also was a football champion in kindergarten and I like to play football a lot. Once when I played I got a bad sunburn.
And here are my awards that I received because of my good performance, and this one is for dance.
My name is Araceli Edith Gutierrez Mendoza.
10 Mar 2013 - 16 Mar 2013

My name is Araceli Edith Gutierrez Mendoza, I´m in second grade of telesecundaria, I’m 12 years old. These are my stories.

My name is Araceli Edith Gutierrez Mendoza.
This is the dam in my community. It is very nice and there are many legends about it.
It has held a lot of water but slowly the water is running out and it almost gone.
The earth is absorbing the water, and now there is no longer as much as before. Now it is running out, too, because the animals drink it all.
And here's how people are building in the fields.
My name is Araceli Edith Gutierrez Mendoza.
A lot of us like to play “maquinitas” [videogames]. We have fun in the ”maquinitas” place.
That's the basketball court.  Young people like us love to play there. We enjoy many different sports with our friends
We like to eat many “sabritas” [snacks], and drink juice and soft drinks; we like to buy many things.
We also go to school. We like to study and learn more.
And people love going to see the dam.
There’s Talleres Comunitarios. We like to come here to participate in workshops because they’re fun. We like to come and have fun.
My name is José Clemente Rios Morales.
10 Mar 2013 - 16 Mar 2013
My name is José Clemente Rios Morales.
This is in the park. It's like an animal.
Here is the church. It is important because here they go to mass and pray. I don't know what else to say about this.
Here is the clinic. People go there when they're sick, or to get vaccinated. I went there to get a flu vaccination.
Here is the Mogote. I like the chapel, and I like the sky because it has many clouds.
Here are some tennies hanging.
My name is José Clemente Rios Morales.
Well here is the street to the cementery. It did not used to have asphalt, but now it has.
That's the basketball court. They just finished it. Before we didn´t have anything like this. It’s a lot nicer now
Here is the park. Before there weren’t many trees with the shape of animals.  We did not have roses either.
And here is the fig tree. I see it as the largest tree in the town.
 And here is some of the work and the frames made here in Talleres Comunitarios and they look very nice.
A conversation about making and looking at photographs
15 Feb 2013
At the end of the workshop, we had a discussion about photography and different ways of seeing. Here are some of our thoughts, together with more of our pictures.
Veronica took this picture of her husband at work at the Talleres. She said, "Taking pictures, you are seeing things more slowly, more closely. You see the meaning of things..."
Veronica gave the church as an example. "We had never seen the details of the church," she said.
"Now we see many details across the pictures," Veronica said, "because before we saw only overviews of things, but now we really can see the details."  This is where she makes tortillas to sell at the school.
Chelión took this picture of his colleague from the roof of the church.  He later said, "Through pictures you can see details of what's around you.  When you walk you're just watching where you walk...".
"...you do not stop to look in detail at all you have around and you realize how important it is."
"Sometimes you do not value all that you have around you," Chelión said, "but taking pictures you can see that you have an abundance of things."
Dolores, like several others, had photographed the mountain of Maria Sanchez, a place of many legends.  She said, "I also believe that a picture can take you into another space and time, into another place."
"Across pictures, you can live the moment again," Dolores said.  "You can move, travel to another time."
Yes, Angeles said, "with the pictures, we realized how many important and significant things we have in our town, like the church...."
"...through one picture, we show the value and meaning it has, like the hill and the traditions."
"I found this exercise very interesting," Ches said, "because we can transmit things through images. At the same time it was complex because the camera does not take all that I want to show, like the sounds, the smells. Every moment, every second, things are happening and changing..."
"...and I wanted to capture that change, and that's a challenge for me to capture all those things...."
"With a word that has no size or shape, you can say a lot, but in theory with an image, you can do more than with one word.  I think it is possible to use the image to communicate these complex things that happen."
Juana said, "For me it was very interesting, because I had not walked this way before and stopped to see things around us."
"In a picture you can have a reflection on the past and the present and the future," Ches said. "You can have all these dimensions together."
When Dolores brought out the old photographs from the town, everyone got involved in the discussion
Many of the photographs were badly damaged. Dolores wanted to get them scanned, so that they would survive.
Especially important were pictures of the church, from before the earthquake in 1957.
Veronica wondered if this photograph was taken during a confirmation.
No, Dolores said, this is a school party. You can see the teacher in the middle.
Veronica thought she could identify her husband's grandmother in this picture.  She lived to be nearly 100 years old. The whole family spoke Zapotec, and Veronica didn't understand at all. "When the others went to work in the field, I stayed home with Lao's grandmother to prepare the food, and she taught me Zapotec."."
This is also from before the earthquake, Dolores said.  The people from San Jerónimo came here on holidays.
You can see the dancers here, who came from San Jerónimo.
When you turn it over, it looks like a postcard. Probably photographers came for the festival.
Who were the photographers? Karin asked. Angeles said it might be Eloy's studio, but Veronica said he wasn't even born then.
"Before, a long time ago," Veronica said, "people were killed a lot around here."
"Yes, but these are not killers," Dolores said. "They are local police."
"And this is the man on the right in that picture, who was nicknamed Trick, right?"
"Yes, his name is Eusebio Venegas, Dolores explained. And here is again." "I didn't know he was from here!" said Angeles. "Yes," said José/Chelión, "He was my father's uncle...He's dead now. He died not too long ago."
 "This is from the roof in Mexico City where he lived," Delores said. Chelión said when he came back he lived near Ocotlán." Delores continued, "He always carried a gun....he said he had come to clean up the town; there were many killers here, and no one was facing them. He started killing one by one and so had to leave town because the relatives of those people became his enemies." Angeles said, yes, "It was the time when there were problems between Santa Ana (Zegache) and Santa María Quiané."
He's in this picture, too, as a child. "This is the pageant of December 12," Dolores explained, "and Eusebio Venegas is on the left, playing the part of 'Juan Diego', the child who saw the Virgin."
Many of the old photographs were of religious pageants and festivals.
Like this one...
or this one.
And that tradition of taking pictures continues, even today.