Today at LA68 Casa de Cultura Elena Poniatowska, there is a screening I wish I could attend. It’s a documentary called “Oasis,” by Alejandro Cárdenas, who according to Radio Netherlands, arrived in Yucatán in 2006 following a potential story about Zapatistas. Instead, he came across the Oasis de San Juan de Dios, and AIDS shelter in the small village of Conkal, 16 kilometers northeast of Mérida. Not to be confused with the Oasis drug and alcohol rehab center in Mérida, this bare-bones
hostel shelter has no doctors or nurses. “The patient who is the least ill takes care of the others,” says Cárdenas. I first heard of Oasis when the polo grounds held a fundraiser for them. Other than that, I know almost nothing about the place.
The film follows three indigenous Mayans who are gay, have AIDS, and have dealt with rejection from their families. “Their stories are also of poverty and of love,” according to Radio Netherlands, one of the few sources of information I have found on this film. The interview gripped me at this point:
The three live in a small village where people are particularly intolerant of gays and lesbians. “The way homosexuals are treated in Yucatan communities is particularly bad”, explains Cárdenas. It’s even worse than in the rest of Mexico, which has the second highest level of hate crimes in the world.
I thought we were moving to a place of tolerance, kindness and tranquility. That’s certainly the picture painted for prospective expats. It is possible [Read more…]