I spent the summer of 1968 in the Chontalpa, a low lying coastal region of Tabasco, southern Mexico. For a couple of weeks I was in a small village (18.153669°, -93.742321°) that sits in a bend of the Rio San Felipe some 13 km inland from the Laguna del Carmen. Today this village is called Ignacio Gutiérrez Gómez, a name that honors a native son who became an early 20th century revolutionary hero. In 1968 most villagers still called it by an older name, San Felipe, and so it remains for me.
I recently turned to Google Earth to see how this village fared over the half century since my visit. I’m impressed by what I found. San Felipe today is a modern, prosperous looking town with a population of more than 2,000 people. However, the contrast between the village as it was in 1968 and the modern town is so dramatic that I decided to revisit the place in a blog post. Continue reading