Leaving with the rest of the guests about 5:00pm, we drove up into Cuautla and took the old highway towards Yautepec and Jiutepec, couldn’t find the turnoff to Emilanio Zapata, and ended up on the Acapulco toll road heading south until we found our way back to Zapata. It was dark by then, and after 9 phone calls and much anxiety, Felix found us and guided us to San Gaspar.
Our first call to the Avelar home reached Felix’s father Jose Felix, Sr. He didn’t really listen. When I told him we were at the address he had given us in Emiliano Zapata on the road of the same name, he pictured us being in Yiutepec. He said he would come get us in 5 minutes. We ate on the street while waiting, some tasty and tough corn on the cob, sprinkled with chile and cheese. But no one came. Placing another call, he said that his children were waiting for us on the plaza by the clock tower. We could see the clock tower up the hill, like a Christmas tree covered in lights. But it was wrong way on a one way street. While trying to reach it on one way streets, I ended up back where I’d begun twice, and finally took a turn that ended up being wrong way on a one way, and was told to pull over by a city policeman two blocks from my destination. I ignored him. He came jogging up a few minutes later, huffing and puffing, and directed me to a traffic cop. He took my license, but listened to my pleas, and allowed me to search the plaza for my friends while he processed my license. He was congenial, and let me off with a warning to obey the signs and laws.
Meanwhile, no one came, and I became increasingly agitated. Multiple calls to the house assured me that they were there looking for me. Eventually, they listened and we came to the mutual understanding that they were at the plaza in Yiutepec and we were at the plaza in Zapata. Altogether, it took 9 phone calls to get connected before we were found. The drive to San Gaspar took another 20 minutes along a winding mountain road and then down into the village at the bottom of the canyon, not exactly “close” to Zapata as Felix implied.
His parent’s home was ample, and the grounds had papaya, banana, mango, citrus, and other trees. His brother Rafael and his wife also live there, but the only grandchildren appear to be Felix’s four children in Utah. He confided that after months of separation, he and Arcelia are now definitely estranged and planning to separate permanently.