photographs and words by Dorian Ulises López Macías
This dry and tropical strip of the coast from Acapulco to Oaxaca is home to a community of kaleidoscopic origin. There are Afro-Mexicans descended from enslaved Africans, Indigenous Mesoamerican Mixtecos, the Indigenous Amuzgo and Chatino peoples, and mixed-race mestizos, all living together off the sea and the land.
Wrapped in water, the Lagoons of Chacahua National Park is a true sanctuary that shines in its biodiversity. One of the first protected natural areas in Mexico, it shelters ten types of vegetation, 150 species of flowers, and 250 species of animals, all of which coexist in an amphibious ecosystem. Herons, pelicans, cranes, migratory birds, snake birds, sea turtles, raccoons, shrimp, and crocodiles are just a fraction of the life that abounds in the mangrove, the palms, the jungle, the savannah, and the coastal dunes of Chacahua. This is a land of banana plantations and lemon groves, where mangroves maintain equilibrium between land and lagoon. They are the guardians of the place. This is also the cradle of the Afromexican.
Chacahua is a fertile land that could be economically and ecologically sustainable with very little effort, but the greed of a few means that many must break their backs across long work days with little rest. Chacahua, like almost all Mexico, needs a true solidarity economy that listens and takes into account the community and its surroundings.
In the face of the climate crisis, one thing is clear: we will only get to an ecologically just future by way of working together. If humankind is to heal its relationship to the rest of creation, it must restore harmony—which cannot exist without collaboration. And what could be more emblematic of holism and harmony than a hive?