Wanderful Words No. 25: A Summation of Why I Love Mexico

by Ekua on October 11, 2010 in Mexico,wanderful words

Something I enjoy about working in a highly untraditional high school is that the list of standard books that often left me bored and uninspired when I was in high school is nowhere in sight. Instead, books are carefully chosen to relate to class themes and hopefully, the students themselves.

One of the books I’ve been introduced to this semester is The Plum Plum Pickers, a novel by Raymond Barrio about the struggles of Mexican farm workers in California in the 1960s. As I skimmed through the book, I came across a part where a teenage girl tells of the issues she has with her classmates and some of the misconceptions people have about Mexicans. In this section, these words stood out:

“There was more of everything in the Mexican character [. . .]. More sadness, more joy, more love, more ferocity, more intensity, more softness, more intimacy, more warmth, more family, more hatred.”

There it was, those ideas and impressions that had been a jumble in mind, but hadn’t yet come together. Since I’d gotten back from Mexico in July, I’d been unsuccinctly and unsuccessfully trying to explain my adoration for the country. It’s a challenge to be heard over the chorus of negativity about Mexico in the United States—the drug conflict headlines, the “illegal” immigrants, the image of it as a beach resort or party break destination.

The other chorus, the one that tells of the warmth of daily interactions, the ferocity of non-violently occupying a square in protest, the sadness displayed in a beautiful piece of art or the love in a plate of chicken mole is easily drowned out.

Though those words from The Plum Plum Pickers certainly weren’t written in the context of traveling to Mexico, they neatly and simply conveyed what I love most about Mexico… passion and a reverence for life infiltrate everything, including you, the visitor.

I’d begun to discover this in Mexico City at the beginning of my trip and would continue to discover it in Oaxaca. That is, once I got over the heartbreak of leaving Cuba.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Marie October 12, 2010 at 1:58 pm

Thank you again for the articulation of my similar thoughts! Especially the part about reverence for the visitor. I’m glad we crossed paths in this amazing country.
(I’ll definitely check out that book too).


Ekua October 13, 2010 at 6:08 pm

Yes, I am glad we met as well… and it’s nice to have one more person who understands my new found Mexico passion 😉 Let’s make it happen again!


Andi October 12, 2010 at 3:12 pm

Beautifully written! I too love the passion of Mexico. Such an underrated country. How do you get over the heartbreak of leaving Cuba, please let me know!!!


Ekua October 13, 2010 at 6:09 pm

Time and the wonderful city of Oaxaca were my cures… although one can never fully recover 😛


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