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Mexico Losing Its Ass

from the LA Times

Sanctuary rescues Mexico’s vanishing icons

Small sanctuary rescuing fast-vanishing icons

OTUMBA, Mexico – You can hear the Burroland donkey shelter long before you see it, as the braying of jacks and jennies mixes with the mournful whistles of freight trains in this small town outside Mexico City.

burro.jpgHere, 20 donkeys wander behind a wire fence, munching carrots and leftover tortillas and waiting for pats on the head from the occasional tourist.

This shelter for unwanted donkeys would have once seemed a laughable idea in Mexico, where the hard-working burro is practically a national symbol. These beasts of burden carried settlers over the Sierra Madre, hauled gold from mines and pulled plows through Mexican fields for centuries.

The donkeys that were once sold here pulled carts of silver and gold from Mexico’s mines, bringing fabulous wealth to the Spanish empire.

They carried silks and spices from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean as part of the trade route to Asia. And donkeys accompanied pioneers pushing west and north through the Americas.

“These are animals that basically built the continent,” Patton said.

[ click to read full article at the LA Times ]

Posted on April 23, 2009 by Editor

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