During our last days in Alamos, the doctor working in one of the small towns that we passed got wind of our presence and insisted that we stop to share lunch with him and his family at his house on our way out. We had a great meal – the main course was a mutton stew, with potatoes and ancho chiles. Unfortunately, macaroni and mayonnaise (somehow now a part of cuisine “tipico” here) raised their ugly heads and soured H’s gut. However, the conversation regarding rural health and development was quite fascinating. To end our successful Alamos visit, we were greeted with a number of wild animal sightings at dusk as we returned to town.
Not 15 minutes into town, we tracked down the home/store of a family who buys and sells chiltepin (referred to us by another conctact who had worked in the area previously). Cold calling in a way, we showed up, were invited to have a chat on the porch, and it turned out that la familia Hurtado was indeed willing and able to help us to get oriented and refer us to someone who could guide us into the hills around the city to hunt for the wild chiltepin plants themselves. In addition, rather than paying for a luxury gringo hotel, Don Oracio Hurtado and his wife Lupe suggested that we could stay, for a minimal price, in the vacant apartment next door (owned by extended family of theirs). At the time, this seemed like a great idea. We “camped” on the bare concrete floors, tried to ignore the various six and eight legged residents and joked that this must be what it is like to be a squatter.