July 17, 2023 Natalia Reca 0Comment

Mexico City, Mexico. 

It was almost as if the words leapt off the screen. I didn’t know what was calling me to this place I had never been to, nor knew anything about, but as I stared at this city staring back at me, it was as if it were pulling me to it, like two magnets with opposing poles.

I scrolled Google Maps to other Mexican cities and a jolt of electricity ran through my body. Guadalajara. San Cristóbal. Monterrey. San Miguel. Sayulita.

They beckoned me to come explore.

I imagined myself on a months-long trek through the Mexican countryside, wondering over cobblestone streets, getting lost in ancient history, and sipping coffee at beachside cafes.

From the wild and windswept beaches of Nayarit; to the central highlands of Guanajuato; to the hidden bays on the Oaxaca coast; to the mountain towns of Chiapas; to the charming fishing villages of Guerrero; to the absolute gem that is CDMX; I knew I was in for a whirlwind ride traversing through this culturally diverse country.

What I wasn’t expecting was to be seduced with the magic that is Mexico—the art that lays within this land and its people.

It always comes back to the people.

It’s Juan Carlos selling incense on the corner who helps correct my butchered Spanish.

It’s Karen at the flower shop who hand-delivers a bouquet of flowers for my birthday.

It’s Martín at the taco stand who offers a hug and invites me to his debut boxing match.

It’s Clarissa at the cafe who, when I tell her I wrote a book, offers to sale it in her store.

It’s Janó, a wondering accordion player, who offers to share a beer after his performance ends.

It’s the unending and unwavering displays of generosity that seem to be infused into the culture.

In full transparency, I had stereotypes and preconceived judgements about this country that I didn’t even know I had. Cabo, Cancun, and Cozumel were the extent of my understanding. Yet once I began to push beyond my fear and see Mexico for what it really is, I could never unsee all of the good I saw—even if at times it was uncomfortable to reconcile head-on. This was the most precious gift I have ever given to myself and it has left an indelible mark on my consciousness.

So, thank you for the gift, Mexico—a gift that I will never be able to repay; and that’s precisely how she prefers it.

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