A Quick Update

In 2010, we moved back to the small town in Colorado that I never stopped missing while we lived in Mexico. Now I sometimes miss Mexico, but I wouldn't travel as freely as we did when we were there, camping out in remote areas and so forth.

Mexico today is in a period of change, and in many ways it is more dangerous now. That said, I have plenty of American friends who still live there very happily, just taking a few more precautions than they did in the past.

Just to say!


Visit Expedia…

Expedia is my favorite place to book airfare, and they handle hotels, car rentals, cruises, etc. I like the organization of the site for figuring out what flights I want. Click on the suitcase to take a look.

I was very pleased to win an award for this blog! Even better for you: click through for lists of all sorts of award-winning travel blogs.

Tripbase Blog Awards 2009

Tripbase Blog Awards 2009

May 11, 2006 — Yesterday was Mother’s Day in Mexico. We knew it was a big deal all over the country, as is motherhood. (Paradoxically, the word madre has a whole complex of negative connotations and the more polite term when asking after someone’s mother is mama — while padre is slang for cool and padrisimo for very cool.)

It started off around 2AM with a brass band not far away. We both woke up and realized it was no doubt serenading some mamas. It wasn’t till 5:30 AM that we heard more serenading. It continued into the daylight hours.

We were home most of the day but one of our Mexican friends, Jose at the Tia Lupita restaurant, had told Kelly that there would be something happening in the plaza around eight in the evening. So we strolled down a little after the appointed time, to check it out.

A stage with a painted backdrop showing mountains and sky was set up on the edge of the plaza, and people were occupying over a hundred chairs that had been set up. Others were sitting or standing on steps, the regular benches, or on seats they had brought. Several young women and a young man were circulating through the crowd, offering trays of beverages at no charge. Little kids were running around everywhere. We saw one other foreigner for sure, and maybe a couple of others. Kelly and I found part of a rock wall to sit on.

No performance had started yet, and I started chatting with the Mexican lady next to me. She is grandmother to 23, and two of them came up and hugged her. Four of them live in the United States, a few in Guadalajara, and the rest here in San Juan Cosala.

“Where in the United States?” I asked in Spanish.

“Watsonville,” she said.

That rang a bell with me. We’ve met men from this town who have lived and worked there and in Santa Cruz. When I said that to the woman, she guessed that around a thousand people from San Juan Cosala live in that area. Considering that the population of San Juan is about 5,000, that’s quite a crowd. It’s a pattern that happens also in the big cities in Mexico — people who leave their towns in search of work tend to stay together and help each other out, keeping alive the kinship and community ties.

As the performance started, she pointed out which groups were from here. There were several traditional dance groups, and from what I could follow of the introductions, they perform in the general region. If any of them were from San Juan, I didn’t pick it up. The dancing and the traditional costumes were beautiful; the sound system was not.

The lady I was chatting with between performances was curious about us. Did we live here in San Juan Cosala? Yes, I said, for the past three months. In the Raquet Club? she asked. That’s where most of the foreigners live. No, I said, since we are in Mexico, we prefer to live in a more Mexican area — conveniently omitting the fact that we couldn’t afford to buy anything in the Raquet Club most likely. I told her what street we live on and she told us it used to be called Avenue of the Fleas.

When Kelly and I wandered off, the show was still in full force. I had enjoyed feeling the sense of community so palpable there. It made me a little homesick for Crestone, and I also wondered if and how I may eventually come to feel a part of the community here in San Juan Cosala.

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