I could not be happier to have a well deserved vacation in Mexico after a long and exhausting week of finals! It’s been one year and a half since I last came, summer 2012 to be exact. My sister, uncle and I were exhausted on the plane, I literally knocked out the entire flight! We landed in Guadalajara, Jalisco at 6 a.m. on Saturday, December 14. Once we landed, the distinct smell of Mexico hit me long a strong current. Mexico has such a distinct smell, but it a home-like smell.
Our actual destination was Purísima de Bustos, Guanajuato, which is two hours south east of Guadalajara. My father was born in Purísima, back in the day, and I love coming to this little town, it’s like Storybrooke from Once Upon
Time! The people are so nice and the atmosphere is loving. I feel like I have a super extended family here! And the history is much more amazing, that it only strengthens my appreciation for my culture, as a Mexican and Chicana.
After all the kisses and hugs from relatives and cousins, we were told that we were invited to a bachelorette’s party. I have never been to one before, so my sister and I were not opposed to going. The food was delish, but the desserts were scrumptious and beautifully decorated with panties and bras! I guess I should mention that they had two male strippers! But that wasn’t the highlight of the night!
On Sunday, there was a soccer game, the Mexican Champions League final, León v América. With out a doubt I was cheering on León, since they are from the state of Guanajuato. As a matter of fact, the city of León is thirty-five minutes from Purísima de Bustos and is known as the show capital of Mexico, if not the world. But I digress! The game was exciting and just being around my family was great and the carne asada was also delicious. León resulted as the winner with a score of 3 to 1. After the win, my cousins and I jumped into our cars and drove around the town chanting that León were champions. It was exhilarating being on the streets, while others were doing the same. I was beyond excited. I was actually having fun, and all the while I thought to myself that none of this was allowed in the United States!
The next day, was sort of uneventful, since it was a Monday and a work day. Nevertheless, Christmas time in Purísima de Bustos holds many traditions, Iluminaciones being one of them. Each street in the town is assigned a day to light up their street and open their homes to family and friends by providing “ponches” and tamales or pozole. Yes, free food! Besides the amazing home cooked food, the streets are decorated with colorful lanterns that line up the walls of the homes and trees. What is also special is that one home is assigned in every street is allowed to host a statue of the Virgin Mary and create an elaborate altar. These traditions are polar opposites to those of California and the U.S, which is why I love coming to Mexico. Life is much more simpler that I can easily feel like I have zero responsibilities! It no longer feels like a culture shock, since I have been coming to Mexico since I was eleven and am more knowledgable of the circumstances of both countries. Nevertheless, I find these trips a blessing since they have helped me fully understand what it means to be a Mexican-American in the twenty-first century.