Camille Collins lives outside of Guadalajara in a place where the cows still outnumber the humans. She has lived in and around Mexico for 20 years and now writes, occassionally, about the little things that make her life here so different from what she left back in Los Angeles, California... And enjoys every moment of it.
She currently lives with her soon-to-be-husband (Jaime), two cats (Skeeter and Mino) and a dog (Pulga), sells advertising for Mexico Connect and hopes to one day become the world's greatest vegetarian chef
( Editor's note: she is actually a Partner in Mexico Connect, and I can attest to her potential to fulfill her hope!).
(That was the 'quick and dirty' version. If you want more, - read on!)
Just what do I think I am doing here.
I have lived a better part of my life in and around Mexico.
Having been born on the border really helps.
My earliest memory of Mexico is going to an orphanage with my mom in Mexicali when I was about 2. She used to love doing that sort of thing and I liked it because I got to play with all sorts of different kids.
I started school in Mexicali when I was three and a half years old, and I started learning Spanish as well as English at the same time.
My dad had a thing about my brother and I growing up in Mexico, it seems my family for two generations back has been here for one reason or another - my grandad worked for one of the oil companies, until they all got expropriated, and my dad ran around Mexico on a Harley Davidson motorcycle back in the 40's when he worked for the Brasero program. I guess it only makes sense that I ended up here as well.
When I was 15 I returned to the US to study and find out what it was all about. I attended a small university in Southern California, graduated with a degree in Spanish (naturally), took a year off and spent a lot of time out in the desert.
My first job after college was in a Japanese bank doing financial analysis. What most fascinated me about my job was the computers, and what you could do with them! After that I went to work for a small software development firm and learned even more... basic programming skills, graphical interfaces, design and more. Not satisfied with what I was doing at work, I bought a computer for my home and started spending time working on it there.
Eventually, I returned to Mexico to help my dad and brother with the graphic design company my dad had established in Guadalajara, another challenging learning experience.
I was in Mexico for the devaluation of 1994, the Colosio assassination, the first truly free elections where Ernesto Zedillo became President and the unveiling of the Salinas scandal.
I have also been here for the mariachi festivals, the Cervantino Festival in Guanajuato, have taken many a long stroll in the evening around a people-filled plaza and have eaten more types of tacos than most people realize exist. I have met many warm, loving people who, without knowing much about me have welcomed me into their homes and treated me like a long-lost friend.
Through all of this I have managed to fall in love with a wonderful man from Guadalajara and, with my (business) partner David McLaughlin and support from a lot of our friends, managed to build a pretty fair web site devoted to all things Mexican.