The Return of the Jaguar in the Yucatán Peninsula (part 2)
It was on a very hot afternoon, while the sun was still high in the western sky, that I got to the small village of San Sebastián, in the city of Valladolid. (The village is at the extreme northern tip of the Yucatán Peninsula.) From the moment I stepped out under the shade of the tamarind trees, that was so dense that it looked like a wall of green, I felt the heat emanating from the pavement. After a three-mile walk I finally made it to the market. The air in the square was cool and humid. It was a hot afternoon, but there was so much activity outside, with people from all over the country coming to the market, that it was hard to imagine how this place could even bear the name of a place in Mexico, called Valladolid. There was a group of people standing around a vendor, who was selling various fruits and vegetables; I saw his red awning was covered by a tarp, and I also saw that the stall was empty. But inside the stall, a group of people were sitting around the produce; they were speaking in low tones and laughing, and it seemed like they were having a great time. One of them, a young woman with a short haircut, wearing only a short, pink, short-sleeved top that had been hanging from her shoulder, came towards me. When she got close, I saw she was wearing a tight green T-shirt, which showed off her small, firm, brown breasts. She had just finished shopping, and after giving me a friendly smile, she went back to talking to her friends.
I made my way inside an old church, where a group of women were sitting, on benches that seemed to be made of wood. Some were talking, others were crying, some were praying. There was a young couple also in the church,