The Singing Boatman Has Left The River

Boquillas Canyon I

Boquillas Canyon in Big Bend National Park will never be the same for me; Victor “Victorio” Valdez, who was better known as the “Singing Boatman”, has left the canyon forever.  The news says he died from heart failure.  I can’t imagine anyone having a better heart than Victor; he helped people in his very poor village and always seemed happy to greet the gringos that hiked down to the river’s edge:

The hateful rhetoric filling up the airwaves, the internet, the nightly news… that is not the reality of the people in Big Bend. When putting a face and a name to “those people” – it’s obvious a lot of Americans need educating and an attitude adjustment.  We all want good lives for our children.  We all seek a more peaceful and just world. Our neighbors in Mexico have the same dreams and aspirations.

Victor was a gentle soul; I will miss hearing his big voice welcoming me back to the canyon.