Monday, July 30, 2007

Climbing the "mountain"

At 3-years old my niece Micaela already has a stamp on her passport, pushed her way through the Mexico City subway and has climbed the "mountain", as she calls it, in Teotihuacan. Man, I feel like such a washout.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Cutting out the Middleman

CUANAJO, Michoacan--We had been on the hunt for some rustic furniture for months, and on a recent trip to Michoacan we decided to take a detour to a small town where we were told had great furniture that was distributed throughout the country. From the city of Patzcuaro, we followed a taxi to a dirt road with a banner (not a sign) that said Cuanajo. The taxi driver told us to keep going, as he returned to the city. We had to stop for a few minutes along the bumpy road to give a slow cow the chance to move over. When the road came to an end, we saw gray concrete warehouses filled with colorful furniture. The perfect kitchen table was there waiting for us. Sometimes we find the best things in the most unexpected places.

From the Sky

ZACATECAS--I always get excited when a city has one of these aerial rides. I've been lucky to hop on two of them here in Mexico (Taxco and Zac.) There's no better way to enjoy the views and take in the naturaleza.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

In a Mennonite Community

LA HONDA, Zacatecas-- Last week Jeremy and I traveled here to report on the first Mexican Mennonite to win public office. Even though most people in the community are Mexican born, many do not speak fluent Spanish. Chatter around the grocery stores or restaurants include a mixture of Low German, English and Spanish. And because Mennonites there are not allowed to marry Mexicans, residents were mostly freckled-face with red or blonde hair.

I wasn't sure what our reception would be. It's one thing to come into the community as a visitor and another to come in armed with a camera and video camera. I was nervous about whipping out the camera, especially since the residents there mostly live separated from the outside world. But my courage came as I let go of my own misconceptions and fears. Most of the people we talked to were very open and friendly. The more I photograph, the more I appreciate the gutsiness it takes to be a photographer. My background is in reporting, and let's face it, no one gets that nervous when they see a spiral notepad coming at them.

Friday, July 13, 2007


It came to me as I was walking down the cobble stone streets of the city of Zacatecas--is it wrong for me to love the charm of colonial cities? Let me back up. Since living in Mexico, we've had the opportunity to visit cities off all kinds- indigenous, rural, urban and on this trip even Mennonite. Some of the most breathtaking places have been colonial cities, the cities that Spanish conquistadores settled into after discovering the rich minerals in Mexico's earth--gold or silver. Some of these cities, like Mexico City, were slashed of their indigenous peoples to make way for unbelievable cathedrals filled with gold plated saints, pulpits, etc.

So as I walked around the outdoor cafes, quaint narrow, winding streets, and European-style plazuelas, I can't help but think about all the sacrifices our indigenous ancestors had to endure and how complex my inner identity struggle becomes the more I explore this beautiful country, my motherland.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

At the Gas Station

Just an ordinary day at a Zacatecas gas station.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Free Hugs!

Who says that people in big cities don't give each other the time of day?

On a recent trip downtown my family and I were walking in front of the Palacio de Bellas Artes when a group of people were waving signs that said "Abrazos Gratis" or Free Hugs. Apparently, even busy Chilangos crave a little squeeze once in awhile.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

New Family Additions

So we've been wanting to have babies for awhile now, and it's finally happened-- baby turtles that is. We have the perfect little pool in our garden, so last week we brought some little green guys home. They are still adjusting to the dramatic change of pet store life to pool life, and unfortunately one has already passed on. But the others are fighters, and hopefully we'll get more soon.

Parents conquer Mexico City

Before moving to the small border town of Eagle Pass, Texas, my parents lived in Chicago for several years. So they are no strangers to the big city life. But it's been about 25 years since they left that life behind. Their memories of that life flooded back last week when they came to visit us not just in another big city, but the largest city in the Western Hemisphere with an estimated 22.8 million residents.

Sure at first the crowds might have been too much, but by the end of the trip they too were walking into traffic, like a true Chilango crosses the street, and were riding the subway like pros. They were amazing by the foliage of the area and got to see a glimpse of what life is like for us here. After a trip to the Castillo de Chapultepec my dad said, "who would have thought that as a retiree I would come here and see all of these things that I read about in elementary school back in Guerrero."