The sun helped to lessen the chill of the late December afternoon as we started down the rocky path from our hotel, which stood on the edge of the Barrancas del Cobre, the Copper Canyon. Turning a corner, we saw a young Tarahumara girl. She held out her hands to reveal several quartz rocks. We agreed to buy two in return for a photograph; after selecting our rocks and exchanging money, she solemnly posed for the camera.
Continuing down the trail, we were aware of her following us, no doubt heading to the row of tiny houses below. Sensing her frustration at being behind two dawdling tourists, we moved to one side so that she could pass.
As if a tiny dynamo had been triggered, she was off… hopping, skipping, racing over the uneven rocks with the agility of a mountain goat. My husband and I watched in amazement, impressed by her speed.
Suddenly, the girl stopped, now some one hundred yards or so along the trail. She turned, glanced up at us, and in a moment I will never forget, broke into an enormous grin. Laughing, she turned and continued on her journey as we ambled behind.