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Hurting Time for Mothers of Mexico Missing Marvin West

Christmas is family time. We see it in our community. Workers are off for a few extra days. Three generations climb into pickup trucks and go visit relatives – even if it is just across town. They have lunch and dinner gatherings. We see the extra children playing in the neighborhood. It is obvious when there is an empty chair at a table. read more

Memories of Morelia: Tall buildings, Janitzio and a hamburger Enrique Garduño

I was nine years old the first time I visited Morelia, in 1973. I was living with my family in Xicotepec, a small town in the north of the State of Puebla. We spent our summer vacation that year with m... read more

Traveling with children to Oaxaca Alvin Starkman

The options are innumerable. It's simply a matter of doing a bit of homework - asking, and then committing yourself to a vacation dedicated in large part to your children. Oaxaca has traditionally bee... read more

Large families North and South of the border Jenny McGill

Families in Mexico tend to be numerous. I know about big families. I come from one. read more

Family tradition: five generations of mezcaleros in Matatlan, Oaxaca Alvin Starkman

Don Isaac recounts awaking at 4 a.m. then walking from his village of Matatlán, with his mule, to Oaxac. He arrived some 14 or 15 hours later… just to buy a large cántaro, the traditiona... read more

Dress - A Matter Of Respect? Alvin Starkman

If expats want to be accepted into the broader society, then they must act the part and treat custom and societal standards with the respect they deserve. It's not enough to throw money at causes and d... read more

Anyone for bridge? William Farrar

"But I haven't played bridge since college." "The last time I played bridge, Ely Culbertson was the authority." "I've just been too busy earning a living to find time for Bridge." Sound familiar? We... read more

Mexico flowers and flower art Ronald A. Barnett ©

3 flower pots
Flowers and flower arranging have played an important role in Mexico from ancient times to the present. The symbolic meaning of flowers is prominent throughout ancient Mesoamerican thought and practice. read more

The Dark Side of the Dream by Alejandro Grattan-Dominguez Reviewed by Allan Cogan

The story begins in 1941, at the time America went to war with Japan and Germany. It concerns the Salazar family, poor farmers in Chihuahua. The grandfather, Sebastian, knows he is dying and he advises the family to move to the United States. He reasons that because of the war the Americans will want lots of people to work in their country as their men go off to fight. Their farm is a ruin. Only expensive fertilizer could bring it back to life. And they don't have any money. read more

Tortilla run: a day in Tijuana Alex Vinson

We woke at 7 a.m. to the blaring horn of the propane truck " beepbeeeeeepbeepbeeeeeeeeep " and wonder if he will ever buy a muffler for that dang truck. We dress quickly so that we can get to the ... read more

A day in the life of my mother-in-law by Alex Vinson Alex Vinson

Wake up about 6am. Verify today is the day that water is available (every 3rd day). Prop the front door open with a stick. Remove the carefully coiled garden hose from its storage place ... read more

Tienda del las dos estufas Alex Vinson

My suegra (mother-in-law) decided that she wanted to sell vegetables from her front porch in rural Guerrero. I asked her how much profit she would like to make and we would work the numbers back... read more

My neighbor the truck driver Alex Vinson

What was all that whirring and buzzing noise coming from downstairs? My new neighbor from Mexico City was spending a sunny Saturday polishing the fuel tank on his semi tractor. I introduced myself (a... read more

Only Once in a Lifetime by Alejandro Grattan Reviewed by Allan Cogan

Here's a story that takes in a complete life, from childhood well into adulthood, and from rags to riches. It's a story that is of interest to we residents in the Lake Chapala area as it starts out in Ajijic and covers a fair number of years there - or should I say here. On page one we encounter ten-year-old Francisco Obregón, a homeless barefoot orphan outside the Old Posada on the Ajijic waterfront. It's 1940 and Francisco is hustling for odd jobs and tips. It's the only way he can manage to survive. read more

Breaking Even by Alejandro Grattan-Dominguez Reviewed by Allan Cogan

"What Val saw as his long period of involuntary servitude was about to come to an end. In the prison movie parlance he liked to affect, he had done his 'hard time.' He had finally reached his eighteenth birthday, and Texas law entitled him to make his own decisions now." The time is 1955. Val has just graduated from high school - although barely. He's finally free to escape the tiny Texas town of Big Bend, which he detests, and go off to California. Val's mother, Guadalupe, is Mexican and his father, who has long since flown the coop, is Anglo, which at least makes Val part Mexican. read more

Buying a home in Mexico Amy Gray Kirkcaldy

Who would have thought that buying a house in Mexico would be such a scandal? Maybe it should have occurred to me beforehand that I would encounter some very unusual problems while trying to acquire pr... read more

Who would have thought? Amy Gray Kirkcaldy

I've been very quiet for the past few months; I apologize for the silence. I'm finally back, and I have BIIIIIIIIG news. No, it's not a divorce, or a birth, or a career change that brought me a six-fig... read more

By the way ... Amy Gray Kirkcaldy

I've been living and working in Mexico for almost two years, and lately, I've been reflecting a great deal about my experiences-and my articles. I was going to write about Mexican family economics (and... read more

To bribe or not to bribe? Amy Gray Kirkcaldy

There´s no denying it - Mexico is a beautiful land. But there is no uglier sight in this world than what I am about to describe. Imagine a portly man dressed in black pants with a yellow stripe down t... read more

A dog's life Amy Gray Kirkcaldy

About three months ago, I was at the mall with Carlos. It was a Sunday like any other; we were simply out for a stroll around the shopping center. Carlos always goes to the pet store to look at the dog... read more

Mexican family economics Amy Gray Kirkcaldy

One of my first questions upon arriving to Monterrey was, "How do people survive here?" Salaries are so embarrassingly low for the majority of the population, and the cost of living is sky high. So how... read more

Odds And Ends, Or Forty Things Everyone Should Know Amy Gray Kirkcaldy

While in Mexico I have learned many things, some of them nice and some of them not so nice. Most of what I have "learned" just makes me chuckle, like the time my mother-in-law told me I would get anemi... read more

My Life As An Escaramuza Mom Dale Hoyt Palfrey

In this day and age, dedicated parents willingly support any type of sporting activity that draws the interest of our off-spring. The average mother of today assumes a host of collateral tasks that go ... read more

Wedding invitation Marvin West

Petra is the grand matriarch in our Mexican community of Nestipac, in suburban Jocotepec. A daughter and two children live to the right of her home. Two sons and their familes live to her left. Those o... read more

My Mexican daughter-in-law: the bride wore green and white and red Maggie Van Ostrand

“Be careful what you wish for,” they say, “you might get it.” That may be true most of the time, but not this time. My son has given me what I wished for — he just married a Mexican girl! K... read more
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