|Over the last three days I've been filming the work of the women of La Patrona. La Patrona is a small village along the train tracks, outside of the city of Cordoba. There is a group of women, lead by Norma Romero, whose solidarity is second to none. Ever single day these woman prepare food, pack it in plastic bags and wait for the train to pass. When it does, they head out to the tracks in wheel barrels and hand off food and water to hungry Hondu passing by at precariously high speeds. It is a site you must experience first hand to feel the love and solidarity that these women have for the Hondu. What I marvel at most is their strength, passion and commitment to the human race. Me? I'm like...me, me, me, me. And these ladies are the complete antithesis.
The women are all poor. They come from poor families. They are poor. They live in extremely modest conditions and most live of the anemic salaries of their sugar cane cutting husbands. These dynamic women have dedicated their lives to our lord, Jesus, and, as they refer to Hondu, los hermanos migrantes. Nobody receives a salary. There is no constant flow of income. They depend on scarce donations they get from Mexican organizations and donated bread. They receive bread that cannot be sold anymore from two bakeries, twice/week, in exchange for cleaning the bakeries. This summer's experience has not been as fruitful as I had hoped. My goal was to gather enough material to produce a 30 minute documentary about the groups' work. I did film the train and bakeries; however, the train has not been passing by frequently and the ones that have are practically empty. It is unfathomable that so few Hondu make it up here, considering we are still in Southern Mexico. I attribute it to kidnappings, while Norma believes the precarious situation in which Hondu travels is a major factor. I know I'm correct. Any way you look at it, the numbers passing through La Patrona have dropped immensely. Even so, these woman continue to work hard every day in hopes of feeding the hungry.
While I leave La Patrona disappointed not to have the material I was hoping for, I continue to admire their solidarity and commitment to excellence.
I'm off to Mexico City...