El Rosario, Sinaloa, July 2016
He calls himself Miguel, no last name. He is a poet, a cycle wanderer, editor, muralist, publisher, artist and holder of a proud beard he has been able to grow the past months. When Miguel speaks, his words end up in rhymes without him even noticing. He does everything and nothing at the same time. He’s a hippie and a tapatío (nickname for those who come from Guadalajara). He prefers mezcal over tequila. Miguel is generous and kind, Miguel is a friend.
Miguel has given us a lot. We met him four years ago through the internet, when he interviewed us for a magazine. After that he helped me edit the guide book I wrote in Spanish for cycle touring. He did not charge me a cent. After insisting a bit he accepted that I would pay a month worth of calls for his mobile. It was the only thing he asked of me.
Miguel studied philosophy in the UDG ( the state owned university of Jalisco). Since then he has devoted his time and energy to make an open invitation to all Mexicans: to read poetry. He started by stenciling a phrase everywhere he could with the message:
Please, read poetry.
Soon after the stencil became a sticker and that sticker has travelled since then though the US, European Union, Britain and Mexico. When he contacted me online and knew that we traveled by bicycle, he became very interested. A couples of years later he was up in his saddle traveling in Mexico, with his own project.
Today Miguel is a cultural ambassador. He paints murals and gives talks on the importance of poetry for students in schools, all of this while he travels by bicycle. After years of talking about it, we cached up with him in Santa Rosalía. Here he organized a cultural program for a week that involved workshops, a painting of a mural and a talk with inmates that are rehabilitating themselves through literature and poetry. He did all of this thanks to the support from the Literary Club in Santa Rosalía headed by Patricia and Edgar.
Miguel is also committed in using his talent in providing every city he cycles through with a beautiful mural. In the case of Santa Rosalía he made one with the topic of identity. A reminder to the old and new generation of what it means to be from Santa Rosalia, BCS, a historic town that once was a thriving mining center. A protagonist in the economical and social development of our country.
When Miguel knew that Tasting Travels was heading towards La Paz via Santa Rosalía he invited us to be part of the events he was organizing. In the school COBACH in Santa Rosalía, we were able to see how Miguel seduced the students to love poetry as much as he does. He invited them to uncover the hidden messages in books, where they could empathize with other worlds and other times.
Miguel has painted several murals in different little towns in Baja California Sur. He has given an important number of talks in schools. In our stay here in Santa Rosalía, he has shared his food with us and his room where he was staying.
Miguel does this without charging a cent. He only asks for food and accommodation. Miguel is like that, a giving soul. Miguel might not have a last name but he does have a nickname. He names himself “el bicitante”.
So if you see Miguel on his way up to Vancouver, say hi to him from us. It has been an honor meeting people like him along the way. Oh and please, read poetry.