The Drifting Dreamers

Photos and words by Koby Hagenfelds.

We were ‘hippie cowboys’ madly charging into the jungle and damned if society would stand in our way.

The setting is Chiapas, the most southern part of Mexico, where Zapatista revolutionaries still hide on the flanks of mountains and the old Mayan languages are still spoken.

We were 18 horses and 15 people, and we had a vision. We would travel by horse for the six months of dry season, rediscovering the ‘veredas’, the old paths.

We would make a circus show in exchange for food, in the tiny villages that had never been visited by foreigners, and we would live free.

However the Mexican jungle is no joke, the individuals that grew into a family over this journey was built on the daily struggle. To find clean water, grass for the horses, food for the family.

Our bodies suffered under the onslaught of hundreds of ticks and each night under the tipi, we would lay down naked and have each tick carefully removed with tweezers by a member of the family. A daily tradition of sorts.

Every night we cooked on the fire, sang together for hours, told stories. And every morning woke with the sun, lived by the land and remembered that we too are animals of this earth.

It was a dangerous and challenging journey, we had near death experiences, were chased with machetes from villages by Zapatistas, got lost in the mountains. Yet these were minor trials compared to the generosity we received, entire villages would leave church on a Sunday running behind our horses, handing us bananas and stacks of tortillas.

People that had next to nothing consistently offered us everything with open hearts and open hands. Sometimes I look back at this journey and feel a great loss.

I think this was the purest time of my life.

All images were taken in souther regions of Mexico.


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