Jefe Luis, the leader of the desert
An international reputation
As far as Nicaragua or Yucatan I have been recommended several times to meet “Jefe Luis” if I ever went to the San Luis de Potosi desert.
He would welcome me and help me take my first steps in the desert. His desert!
Here we are finally. We are in front of his house. It is a small hut a little twisted, flat roof, made of large stones color earth. The facade is pierced by two very small windows. An old battered caravan extends the house as an extra room. We are in a half-camp Roma style, half village of Tatouine of the Star Wars.
In the distance a man apparently not quite young, in military uniform from the feet to the head and to the slightly lame but assured step approaches. “It’s the Jefe Luis, that’s for sure! ”
That’s what he confirms handing us a big hand full of big fingers.
Visitors from all over the world
He knows why we are here. Every week, visitors from all over the world come here to meet him, camp for a few days in the heart of nature and experience the mystical power of peyotes. He is proud to welcome each visitor personally.
He takes us aside to a tree (which is quite rare in the area) to settle us. The tent that Jefe lends us has no arches or double roof, but with string and branches of our tree we climb our little house that looks like a cobweb and has style.
“Do you have tequila and mescal? The Jefe asks us
“Oh no,” I answer.
“It will be missed! He said the sorry look probably more for him than for us.
“But I have rum and good food”
and we continue our conversation while he whistles our bottle of rum.
Washing me makes me sick
The Jefe wanted to be a soldier, it was his dream but finally he never left his desert and it never happened. One day he was offered his military uniform and since then he has not left him. He gets dressed every day with. Anyway in the desert we do not get dirty and here hygiene is not a concern. There is not enough water for that. It has been a lot of fun this year, but it’s been three years since it happened and apart from that there is just a well.
The Jefe is only washing once every five months, he says it makes him sick. But when you see the big water hole covered with a funny green moss that serves as a bath for all the members of this tiny hamlet I can imagine better why.
Without water, what are the people living here?
Looking at the dry land of the desert, I wonder how we can live here. As incredible as it sounds, he tells me that this year’s rain has allowed them to grow corn and kidney beans. He hands me a spike of but very particular. The grains are red, yellow and black and they are very hard and dry. Desert corn In years when there is no rain they leave to work in the more modern and larger farms of those who have dug very deep wells and life is harder. The Jefe tells me that he has often been hungry, thirsty and cold.
First sunset on the desert
It is in the company of Jefe that we eat our first peyote. As the sun falls on one side and the moon rises on the other side, everything becomes so beautiful that it seems unreal. My friend Aubin claims that between the hills there is the end of the world. He saw this in “The Trueman Show” and yet no, our magical world extends to infinity all around us at 360 degrees.
Jefe points at us lying there in front of us and says:
“I would be happiest if all the people from all over the world that I hosted here were all here in front of me here and they all said to me:
Hi Jefe and thank you! ”