File:Doña Ignacia de barro.jpg

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Doña Ignacia dice que viene de Zinapécuaro a "pedir mi limosna", y lo dice con el tono del que viene a cumplir con su cometido laboral. Le duelen las piernas, el vientre, le falta un ojo ("lo perdí por unas viruelas de chica") y en el que le queda asoman las blancas nubes de la catarata. Dice que su hija tampoco ve mucho. Me la encuentro esporádicamente por las calles de Morelia y cuando la veo me paro a platicar con ella. De sus labios no sale más queja que la que arranca el dolor en sus rodillas y cuando me despido de ella, siempre me acompañan sus bendiciones y el mismo Dios: "Dios te acompañe y te guarde", me dice con una sonrisa.

Doña Ignacia comes to Morelia from Zinapécuaro, another town nearby. She says, with the same expression as a worker that comes to do his job, that she came "to ask for my coins".

Her legs ache, she has lost an eye ("some viruelas that I had when I was little") and in the one that has left, you can see the white clouds of "catarata" (an oftalmologic illness that avoids to see properly and sometimes causes blindness). She says that her daughter doesn't see very well too. I found Doña Ignacia sometimes in Morelia and when I see her, I stop to talk a little.

From her lips I cannot hear another complaint than the one that the aches of her knees make go out. When I say goodbye, I always have with me all the blessings and even God: "God shall take good care of you", she says.

The first version of this story:

I'm meeting Madam Ignacia Sanchez Botello, that every week comes to Morelia "to ask for my alms". At the age of 85, tours the arcade walking slowly and unsteady. From time to time, somebody feels sorry and stretching his arm puts in her dark parchment tanned hand a coin. She wears plain clothes from the people in the country and covers her head with a blue and black striped shawl, the one women in Michoacan use. One of her eyes is permanently covered by her eyelid, that seems to be pasted with the skin. "It kept like that after the smallpox, when I was a child, I was about 13 years old. On that time there weren't things like now" She told me later. The other eye is open but covered by the distinctive white cloud of cataract. She admits she can't see clearly and I asked her if she would like to have an operation so that she can see clearly again, then she replied she has no money. I introduce myself as a member of the Health Secretary's Office and explain her that there's a program set for operating cataracts, with no cost. "but we have to know before if it is cataract what you have in your eye." I told her.

On our way to the children's hospital that we went to look for an ophthalmologist, she kept talking telling me about her life. She lives in Zinapécuaro (a municipality 40 or 50 minutes from Morelia), though she can't determine exactly where. "Just going down from the Medical Center" she reached to tell me.

She's got a daughter that can't see clearly either, she always has red eyes. Her daughter had bad luck, all her sons and husband "are bad and get drunk and are always thereabouts". Her sons went to the North (USA) since the "work turned up there". One of them was injured and now he is paralyzed.

Doña Ignacia has two other children, a son and a daughter. The girl is working and the boy, the boy as his nephews, gets drunk and is thereabouts. Her husband died eight years ago. He was a policeman in Zinapécuaro, and as Doña Ignacia let me guess by her words, he wasn't a good odd man either.

We got to the Hospital, and unluckily (it seems to be her duty), the doctor Tanganxoan has already gone. We agree then that I will make her know when the doctor will be in Zinapécuaro, or when she can come to Morelia to be tested by any ophthalmologist.

Before we farewell, we went to the "cocina economica" next to hospital. There's only left "comida corrida": soup, and a small chicken piece in sauce, "frijoles" and rice. Doña Ignacia eats as much as a little bird and barely can finish the soup. Her hand shakes every time the spoon approaches her mouth. I suggested her to take the remaining food in a throw-away container.

I asked a taxi to bring her to the bus station, those that goes to Zinapécuaro, the one that is near the river, and I told her goodbye, I hoped she wouldn't get lost. If only we could help her to regain the sight in her only eye !

If she doesn't get lost, if finally a doctor says that it is cataract what she has in her eye, maybe she wants to go to Cuba to be operated on her only eye and regain the sight. We wont be able to relieve her from all her problems, not from all her pains (her knees hurts when walking, doctors say it is reuma, and that there's nothing that can be done) but maybe we can, at least once, evade or outwit the bad luck that seems to follow this lady.

Source Doña Ignacia de barro
Author Arantxa from Morelia, Michoacán, México
Camera location19° 42′ 20.84″ N, 101° 11′ 31.74″ W Kartographer map based on OpenStreetMap.View all coordinates using: OpenStreetMap - Google Earthinfo


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current09:25, 17 February 2010Thumbnail for version as of 09:25, 17 February 2010761 × 1,024 (462 KB)Hiob (talk | contribs){{Information |Description=Doña Ignacia dice que viene de Zinapécuaro a "pedir mi limosna", y lo dice con el tono del que viene a cumplir con su cometido laboral. Le duelen las piernas, el vientre, le falta un ojo ("lo perdí por unas viruelas de chica"
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