While shooting in the town square, a tour guide approached and told me I should put the camera away. He said the police would take my camera and throw me in jail. At first, I thought he was just trying to get me to pay to join his tour.
The town enjoys unique autonomous status within Mexico. No outside police or military are allowed in the village. Chamulas have their own police force. – Wikipedia
A few minutes later, I was eating a bowl of chicken soup at a streetside restaurant. The texture of the chicken was unlike any I'd ever eaten. It was more chewy, almost spongy. After a few bites, I realized this chicken leg was previously attached to one of the many running freely nearby. It wasn't the couped-up, hormone-filled, force-fed flavor I was used to. The visceral experience gave me a sudden respect for my surroundings and I didnt take the camera out of the bag again.
View more photos of San Juan Chamula.
Video recorded September 19, 2007