I guess it could be said that I am a Mexico-phile. In my teens in Arden, Delaware I listened excitedly to tales of travel told by a family in the community that spent lots of time in Mexico and in Latin America. It took me many years, however, before I found myself on a train to Guadalajara, fifty years ago – well, fifty one, but who’s counting?
Over the years I have traveled alone throughout most of Mexico. I also brought my three children with me in the late 60’s for a month’s vacation when we drove from Nogales to Mexico City and back through the Baj¡o country. A couple of years later, I brought them down to experience life in a foreign country, and to learn Spanish, and we lived in Puebla for the school year.
Finally, I became a “pensionada”, and realized my goal of spending my retirement years in Oaxaca. After ten years of being here, there are no regrets. In fact, I have traveled to other destinations, and pondered finding a more perfect place, but Oaxaca always comes out ahead.
What is it about Oaxaca, or Mexico in general? It is a combination of climate, people, culture, history, art, and affordability. Oaxaca, in particular, is a place for walking. Mexico is a unique country with its prehispanic past and numerous ruins with new discoveries and archaeological work that could go on for years to come. The time of the Revolution and its leaders is a more complicated story that is still part of modern Mexico. The muralist movement and the amount of art and artists is over-whelming. In Oaxaca, more so than other places, the folk art tradition continues and I never cease to be amazed at the talent and imagination. Finally, I must highlight the aspect of weather – I like sun, I don’t like cold. I don’t mind some heat. Where else but Oaxaca?
Photography by Diana Ricci