An elderly campesino in a battered hat and scuffed boots was stumbling in the bleak high desert, in the sighing emptiness of the Mixteca Alta in Oaxaca state. He was alone on the track that leads from the remote village of Santa Maria Ixcatlan to the crossroads, miles away. Obviously poor and struggling along, he seemed to me an iconic Mexican figure, emblematic of the life of the land. He could have been a hungry farmer headed to the market, a hopeful worker looking for a factory job, a migrant setting off for the border, or someone seeking help. Whatever his destination, he was on a rough road.
- From On the Plain of Snakes: A Mexican Journey by Paul Theroux