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las marias

las marias sits downriver on the rio platano. it's one of the last human settlements before the serious forest starts upstream. supposedly, not to many people live beyond that point

part of that is supposed to be biosphere protection;
the biosphere is such that humans are supposed to live there
indigenouses - authentic forest dwellers,

i think it might be too just cuz it's damn out of the way,
and the river tends to choke up - rocks and rapids and stuff
pretty soon after las marias.

that's fine for the adventurous,
las marias is a staging point for ecotours

not really a supply depot as much as a place to get your guides.

read the article.

there ain't much here - two pulperias, few hospedajes,
an empty mopawi office, after the radio was ripped off
now mostly used as a peace corps crash pad

but the people here are sure used to tourists.
friendly, sort of curious, sort of callous,

one guy came by my hospedaje two hours after i'd arrived
he offered me a wood carved miniature pipante

i told him it wasn't authentic -
it didn't have a pole hole in front for anchoring,
and it wasn't the colour of mud.

shower is the river,
which is clearly well used

i was bathing in swim trunks, without my glasses,
next to a mama and lil'un doing laundry

is this the best place to bathe?
i ask my self-appointed guide,
14 year old Felix son of olvidio,
"mas bueno"
he sez that about everything
"por que este es mas bueno?"
"por que aqui, no hay cocodrilos."

tambien, aqui, no hay mucho pech.
pech are the original inhabitants of this area,
as much as anyone originally inhabits anywhere

the miskitos, with their marrying might, have watered down the pure pech race,
they say there's only 8 in las marias
i met one of them in batalla,

tribe council president, in a mopawi hat
he asked me for money,
i didn't give him any,
wouldn't let me take his picture

they say there's more pech living upriver.

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