A Revolution In One Village

Leaning heavily on her cane, Carmen de Mesa de Pelayo walks up the cobblestone hill to the home where she has lived since 1915. The 80-year-old, a braid of gray hair stretching to her waist, smiles and nods at the villagers, who greet her with respect--the lady who owns the neighborhood mill that grinds chili peppers for mole sauce, the man who runs the small pharmacy. At the top of the hill, a group of musicians called El Rayo--the Lightning Bolt--plays ranchero music that echoes through the neighborhood of San Miguel. Today is the start of the fiesta for the patron saint, San Miguel the Archangel. "We have a beautiful spot and beautiful traditions, and we want to conserve them," Carmen says, pulling her rebozo around her. "And now the rich people want to come and ruin it."

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