Tag Archives: mexican

Diary Entry

Friday, Sept. 25, 2015

It’s been a very exhilarating morning to say the least. My little family ventured out on our own from Guadalajara to Purepero, Michoacan. I can’t say I was scared but I was a little cautious as we drove to the little pueblo. I had driven through Mexico so many times as a kid and never feeling afraid.  My dad was with us all the time and trusted he would take care of us.  This time it was different.  I was now a mother.  I had little ones I needed to protect if anything went wrong.  I was now their protector and my husband and myself had taken the role my parents had at one time traveling through the land.  Once we exited the city, the scenery began to change.  It became greener. There were corn fields for miles. It was such an awesome sight. Every so often the green land fields would be sun kissed with a variety of colors. Sometimes you could see burnt-orange specks that would flow like waves over the tall grass.  Other times there were hints of purple peeking through the brush as the rays from the sun peeked through the thick brush. Such a beautiful sight that only my eyes could capture.IMG_4762

Our ride to Purepero was so fun.  I would turn back to look at my kids and my heart would warm up.  We stopped at a little store to buy some “chatarra” for the road. They went crazy buying bread, chips, and drinks.  Our bellies were full the entire way.  I was able to tell stories I had from my visits as a child. They asked questions about the area.  They were wide-eyed until the sweet sound of music, the warmth of the sun and the beauty of the landscape cradled them to sleep.

2 hours later we had reached the outskirts of Purepero. The surrounding became familiar. The sporadic clouds began to get bigger, crisp and low. The sky was getting bluer and the smell of a distant fire had reached my nostrils. I closed my eyes, breathed deeply as the lost memory of the land rekindled the love of this place long forgotten. The town’s entry was no longer the same and we were confused how to enter. But soon enough we saw the old familiar road that led right to the center of town, the plaza. Driving in I remembered how I thought there might be a small chance I would never return because of the rumors of the craziness going on in Mexico. But there I was, driving through the narrow streets just big enough for one car. The familiar adobe walls of the plaza stores I frequently visited on my stays, were all still there. But I’ve been told that it no longer looks the same once I walk into the inner courts. That’s my mission for tomorrow, to check out the area and the changes time has made.

IMG_1344Once I drove past the plaza area I finally headed up to my Great-Uncle’s house.   The street and the outside of the houses still looked the same. I was happy about that. We parked and the kids and I looked around to take it in.  We began to walk up the street. I was feeling it. It felt good and normal. And just like old times, a head peeked out of the house I had always stayed at. Except this time it wasn’t my Great-Aunt greeting us with a big smile, it was her youngest sister.  It felt a bit strange at first but she was so warm in her welcome that the strange feelings quickly faded. It was the new generation greeting us now. But the old generation’s warmth was still there.   I walked in and everything looked like it did every time I visited. Everything appeared to be the same but deep inside I knew it wouldn’t be.  Then I stepped into the back and was a bit in shock to see that a lot of the property was knocked down and a new edification had taken place. The old room, bathroom and part of the kitchen had been replaced with brick walls. The same or not, I was where I wanted to be.  I headed to the back in hopes to see the familiar. I was on a mission to reconnect to an old tree that had been in the back since I could remember.  It always brought back  so many wonderful memories.  I knew that it would be the perfect place to do some writing and soul searching…




Both of my parents were born in Mexico and at a very young age they entered the work force.  We all know that getting an education in Mexico can be hard if you are not part of the elite group.  But times are definitely changing.  I do see many young people in Mexico getting the opportunity for higher education these days.

I remember when I was a kid and old enough to stay home alone and watch my 2 siblings (well not really alone because family always lived in our back house), I would have so much fun.  My dad would go to work at 3:30 pm and my mom wouldn’t be home till 6ish.  3 hours of bliss!

My dad was a very strict man.  He thought our school homework wasn’t enough.  He said the education system wasn’t as good as all the other countries and we were behind everyone else.  So he would give us homework on top of our school homework.  I remember having to learn my multiplications in 1st grade, and the US map, Mexican map, and South American map in 3rd grade.  In 5th grade I had to learn the European map .  Not just the states but the capitals.  Not only that, but I also had to read in Spanish for a period of time and then read it back to him the next day with out error.  I learned to quickly memorize things using my short term memory.  So please don’t ask me any of this information now.  LOL  Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Chile Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay… LOL I still remember.  Anyway, that was the ugly part about staying alone.  I guess it taught me responsibility because if I didn’t have my stuff memorized by the next day I would get a butt whoopin con la chancla!  Actually, I wish it was the chancla.

The bliss came when we would eat whatever we wanted, watch as much tv as we wanted, and played with our neighbors as much as we wanted.  3 hours seemed like a very long time in those days.  I remember taking sandwich bread and packing on the ice cream.  Anyone else ever do that?  My mom had gazillions of purses and they all had tons of change.  Those purses were everywhere.  I would stick my hand in them and it was like Christmas morning.  I would either ride my bike to the panaderia or send my brother to go bring us a stash of junk food (Now & Later of all flavors, chocolate, chile saladitos, and chips).  This was almost a daily ritual.  The other activity was T.V. Oooooooh I loved watching cartoons!  I was willing to get a beating from not memorizing my states just to watch T.V. until my dad caught on.  So he did something about it.  He would take and hide the T.V. wire.   It taught me how to be sneaky and get away with it.  LOL I would find that wire and enjoy my usual shows.  Until one day he wondered why the T.V. was hot to the touch without a wire.  Ooops!  Got caught!  He stopped taking the wire off and would just disconnect it and coil it in different directions and pass it through different things.  I figured out that it was boobie trapped.  Because of that, I developed a photographic memory. LOL  I still managed to watch it.

It’s obvious that my parents wanted a better life for me, for us.  They wanted to make sure that our future wouldn’t be as hard for us as it was for them.  They still managed to instill in us a work ethic and a drive to do more than is expected.  I always tried my best even thought most of the times it wasn’t enough.  Not sure if it was for fear or because somewhere along those lines, their speeches, advice and example worked on me.  But both my brother and I have managed to make something of this life.  It’s not easy being a kid from immigrant parents.  There is so much we have to go through to succeed but because of their hard work, dedication and drive to make a better future for us, our struggle has been lessened.

So, Mexican-Americans, Chicanos, Latinos, Hispanics:  Do your parents (ancestors) a favor, honor them with how you live.  Make something of yourself.  Stop wasting time feeling sorry for yourself or blaming others for where you are at today.  Don’t let their struggle be in vain.  Don’t let their fight for you be wasted.  Make them proud.  I doubt they did it just for themselves.  If not, then do it for you and your generations to come.



Me on the left. 😉

photo(42)For many years, I spent time with my Abuelos.  I remember how much I loved to go to their house in Redondo Beach as a little kid.  My parents would go out on the weekends and they would leave us (my brother, sister and I) with them.  We would get so spoiled.  Pretty much got to do whatever we wanted.  They would let me stay up so late to watch a Mexican show which show cased “La India Maria”.  I loved that time.  But once we saw the lights of my parents’ car creep up, they would tell me to run and get under the covers.

There was a season when they lived in Tijuana, B.C. and we would visit them almost every weekend.  I loved heading out to the border.  I was not allowed to have candy (my parents were health freaks).  Buuuuuut when I was with my grandparents, I could have as much candy, chips, and soda as I wanted (granted I was sick to my stomach for days at a time).  My Abuela, my aunt (who is 1 year younger than me) and I would take long walks to the store in the evening down dirt roads.  I can still smell the dirt as the neighbors cleaned out there porches with water.  There were so many dogs in TJ.  I remember always being so scared.  But my Abuela always would tell me to say something that I faintly remember.  It went something like this, “Dios en mi…”  Well, that’s all I remember LOL!  As I grew into a teen and began to drive, my Abuelo would let me borrow the car and my aunt and I would drive to Down Town TJ!  It was kind of safe then.  We would visit the museum called, La Bola (not sure if that’s the real name).  We loved to go walking around a market called, Miguel Hidalgo.  Most of the time we wouldn’t even buy anything.  We just liked to head out.  I have so many awesome and funny memories of my times in Tijuana that I will write about soon.

But there was a time where I was going to college, and working 2 jobs.  Soon after I got married  and time with my Abuelos was rare.  My Abuelo was still alive during that time.  But he started getting sick.  I remember when he passed away, I took a big hit because he always moved me to think big.  He was a tempered man but one of the funniest men I knew.  I loved to joke with him and listen to him repeat the same jokes.  He always had jokes.  He would nick name everyone even if they didn’t know it.  Part of who I am I see it’s because of what I saw in him.  His joking, his love to talk and story tell.  I see that in me.  I went into radio for a while because I was intrigued as I would watch him record himself talking into a mic at all our gatherings or parties.  He sounded like a radio announcer.  So as a kid, I would do the same thing.  I made my own novelas and created my own sound effects out of whatever I had in sight and record them.  He was a character.  I look back and think, “How could I have been so careless and not have given them the time that they deserved.

Looking back it wasn’t so much that my life was soooo busy (even though I felt like it was).  I know I could have made more time to spend quality time with them.  But I didn’t.  Maybe because I was young and selfish.  Maybe because I thought there were far more important things to do.  I’m not quite sure.

I feel so blessed to still have one remaining grand parent and be able to spend that quality time that I once had as a kid and now get to enjoy as an adult and with my own children.  Once the generation of our grandparents is gone, we will no longer have first hand information of our ancestors, our culture, our lingo, our traditions and our food.  We will only be able to read about it and watch it either on TV, YouTube or any other media form.

I just want to encourage this generation.  If you have your grandparents still; take advantage of it.  They have so many hidden treasure that will only be seen by spending time with them.  You will hear crazy stories about them and their families, old school sayings, secret recipes and so much more.  Maybe you can’t spend time with them because of distance or “XYZ”  but there are other ways to communicate.  Give them a call.  You won’t regret it.  For those who have lost your abuelitos and miss them, my heart is with you.  May God’s peace rule over you today.

Blessings to you all.


Since my daughter was born 12 years ago, I have had the privilege to say that I am part of 4 generations of women whom have been the first born of the family.   What ‘s even more amazing is that the 4 generations are still alive.  My Abuela was the first born, my mom (Abuela’s daughter) was the first born, I’m the first born and my daughter is also the first born.  It is so special to me to be able to share that with all of you.  God has granted me such a great blessing to be able to enjoy something so marvelous.

4 genAlthough my mom and Abuela seem so humble, meek, submissive and nice they are powerhouses!  One would think that because of all the hardships they have had to face, they would be defeated women.  But they are not.  They have managed to get up and continue life… with smiles and laughs.

In one way or another, the 4 of us have inherited many similar traits.  We have the natural “1st born” syndrome, which is obvious with our “people pleasing” behavior.  The one that is the most notorious for that is Abuela.  She is a human form of a cameleon–taking any shape or form just to make sure no one gets offended, hurt or feel left out.  She will give you her last dollar and even her last Coke just to make you feel good.  If you meet her be ready to be part of the family.

My mom is just like that (especially when it comes to her kids and grandchildren).  For example, once she gets the phone call that “we are on our way” (going over her house), she jumps to the kitchen to have something ready when we arrive.  It could be anything from delicious ice cold lemonade to a full on gourmet salad.  Notice I said salad.  That’s because she is a health freak.  Growing up she never bought us cereal that had sugar.  Man that was stressful! LOL!  Anyway,  I’ve been a healthy adult for the most part.  I probably owe it all to her.  It is the heart of a loving mother, always wanting to give others the best of what she has to offer.

As I write, I’m laying here thinking, “How do I fit into the “1st Born” syndrome.  I guess it’s hard to talk about ones self.  Just like my mom and Abuela, I’m a worry wart.  I think of every possible negative scenario and play it out in my head over and over again.  I worry about everyone and can’t rest until I either get a text or send some “random text” about anything just to see if they are okay.  So either they passed that down to me or it’s just part of being 1st born.

My daughter is also a people-pleaser.  She is always trying to do the right thing to make mom and dad happy.  She definitely is a leader in her own little way.  She isn’t afraid to take risks but not on account of hurting those around her.  She has a mind of her own and is very opinionated but always trying to say things in the nicest possible way.  When it comes to her friends, she will do anything to make sure they are happy (I’m like that too).  She is the best friend you can have.groupcoke2

I can’t tell you enough how honored I am to be part of this heritage.  The ladies in my life aren’t flashy, eccentric nor women who need and want the best of everything.  They do with what they have.  They aren’t domineering women who make you do what they want.  They would rather YOU do what you want.  They aren’t women who give up.  Nor will they let YOU give up.  They are humble, meek, simple yet strong women whom with a smile will lift you and encourage you to be the best that “YOU” can be.  I can only pray that my daughter and I inherit a portion of what they are.  They are an inspiration to me and to those around them.  And for that I honor them.





Photo Credit: Mayra Ariza Photography