The Localist

Family in Mexico

thelocalist.com_MexicanFamily

Family was one of the things that drew me to Mexico; not my own family, but the sense of community that is inherent in this culture.

I feel like family is a loosely defined term in this culture. Family in Mexico could be blood, or it could be a close friend, or your cousin’s wife’s brother’s daughter. It doesn’t matter, you’re still family. This understanding of family has meant that people have taken me in and made me feel at home even though I am quite far from my birthplace.

Mexicans are the warmest people, and they throw the best parties. Everyone comes – every member of the extended family, the neighborhood and then all the friends. And everyone is treated like family. It’s pretty hard to feel left out here when everyone is so inviting and there is always so much good food, beer, and music.

Yet it’s not just about having a good time. So many people opened up their homes to me when I first arrived, and fed me countless enchiladas, sopes, and chilaquiles, even though they were probably less economically stable than I was. Not only did they provide for me, but they gave me a new home, a support system when I had none in a new country.

What continues to amaze me about this country is that those who have the least – imagine tiny houses with dirt floors – are the ones who give the most. You would never know their situation from how they give…they give as if they own the world. And they ask for nothing in return.

This is the mentality that makes this country so beautiful, the one that makes it so unique. And that sense of community trickles up the social hierarchy, not down.

It makes you re-examine yourself and your own mentality. How much do you give? Could you give more? And why aren’t you?

MEX_KatieBielamowicz_M

 

MEET THE LOCAL: KATIE BIELAMOWICZ

 

Image. Picture by Sally Langford.

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