March 07, 2017 – The Railroad in Creel, Chihuahua

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March in Mexico continues with one of my favorite, albeit simple, photographs.

The bus stop and train station is the hub in Creel, Mexico. The El Chepe train line travels east-west across the whole country, delivering goods, people, and fresh seafood. The town square is a stone’s throw away, along with restaurants, curio shops, and privately owned markets. Tarahumara families, usually dressed in their brightly-colored traditional clothing, are always in the town square selling their hand-woven bear-grass baskets and hand-woven garments. As tourism has declined (Creel used to be a popular destination for American travelers), these families have much less to live off of than they used to. Tarahumara fathers, usually wearing regular ‘jeans and t-shirt’ street clothes, are known to walk along the main roads with their youngest and cutest children, pointing out who the children should approach to beg for pesos.

There’s an alpine feel to Creel, surrounded by pine forests and canyons. At dusk, a haze of smoke settles over the town from the wood-fired stoves that residents use for warmth and cooking. The entire town smells like burning pine-bark. Life here is simple, and the people are incredibly friendly. There’s a reason why I’ve gone back several times.

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