We had been driving from Oaxaca, a colonial city south of Mexico City, for 40 minutes, when we pulled off the main road. Diego, our guide, typed La Union Tejalapam on his smartphone. The village we were looking for was barely on Google Maps. It looked like a Japanese pictogram hanging on three wires. No road or street names; no visuals popped up when dragging and clicking on the little orange man. Our quest was to find the same wooden carved sleeping dogs that I had purchased five years earlier. I was curious to meet the carver who had enough confidence to do something so simple. All I could remember was the name of the place they came from.
We took a dirt road leading to the village that we found on the map. No road signs or lights, just dirt tracks. We found La Union Tejalapam. Not much of a village, but rather a vast farmland with rustic farmhouses scattered here and there, joined by tracks and paths and surrounded by mountains. In the mid-morning light, the bucolic scene made me think of the back-to-nature craze of the ‘70s.
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