My Mexico Diary

Hey everyone,

Last month I got the chance to visit Mexico Cuernavaca, Morelos to be exact
I must admit I was a bit worried traveling to Mexico by myself especially with what you hear in the media about the country being so dangerous but I chose to be open minded and not let fear from the media dictate how I would go about my trip as crime happens in many places.

Arriving to Mexico City very early in the morning it was perfect summer weather I was ready for the day or should I say margaritas?

But first stop had to get my pesos I usually get mine done at my bank since airports overcharge but I didn’t mind so much in Mexico since the US dollar is much stronger.  
 I will mention I was a little annoyed there was little to no free WiFi in the airport which made it difficult to contact my friends as we were planning to meet at a different destination and I didn’t have an international data plan but I made the best of it.

I purchased a bus ticket to Cuernavaca which is about a two hour bus ride outside of Mexico City.

Arriving in Cuernavaca I was super excited to actually feel like I’m in Mexico and not in a more touristy americanized part which I feel Cancun, Baja Sur etc represents.

I met up with two of my friends who met me at the train station, our first stop of course was food. We went to this restaurant called Los colorines it was so beautiful and colorful inside after lunch we took a taxi back to her grandmother’s house. 

During my time I got a chance to experience “Cabo del ano” meaning the end of the first death year or 1st year anniversary. During this time it was the one year anniversary since my friend’s grandmother passed away. Traditionally when a person passes away a family member will stay awake in the home with the deceased who's usually buried within 48 hours family and friends come together for nine nights in the home of the deceased person to do the “novenario”. An “altar” with flowers, candles, religious objects and photos are set up for the family member that passed. They come together every night for prayers for the deceased person and eat together. At the end of the nine days of the novenario a religious ceremony takes place, with those in attendance taking up the flowers from the altar and carrying them to the grave of the deceased afterwards, followed by a special meal together. My friend’s family put together a slide show showing different memories with her even though tears are shed during Cabo del ano it’s more of a celebration of their life vs mourning.

The next morning I decided to walk to the local market all alone and order everything in spanish. I was a little nervous as I knew people would be staring as I stuck out like a fly on a wedding cake. As I walked the street people stared of course, some smiled after my purchases I felt myself starting to let go of this guard I had up and just embrace the place like I lived there as I do with other countries I visit.

I also learned many things about Mexico such as government, daily life but what really stuck in the back of my mind was the education system.
I didn’t realize how expensive education can be even for students in elementary school. So because of this many students drop out at an early age due to not being able to afford the price of education. I was so shocked and moments like this always humbles me as here in America education in public schools for the most part are free and the activity fees weren't a large amount.

Something I didn’t know is that Mexico is the biggest exporter for fresh produce to the US. As many negative things we hear in the media about Mexico how many of you knew this? Certainly not I. Mexico may be a poorer country than the states but it's full of hard workers its many people with degrees and local business, I didn’t even realize it was educational requirements just to work at fast food spots like McDonalds.

Another thing I wasn’t aware of is that hot water isn’t always available when you want to shower. The majority of Mexico is not served by pressurized water systems like in America. The homes in Mexico have a cistern, which the lower pressure domestic water line from the street will gradually fill. The cistern is usually large enough to hold a few days water supply or only available once every three days or so. 
I was open to taking a “bucket shower” as I’m very open minded and when I travel I want to live like a local on the other hand one of my friend’s whose use to visiting places like Cancun wasn’t as open but I could understand her point of view especially when you are used to modern luxuries of the first world like hot water upon demand. This is another thing I realized I took for granted almost every morning before I took a shower I’d run the hot water for about five minutes to get the bathroom steamy. I realized I’m a very privileged American that unfortunately would waste water everyday.

My friends and I hung out in downtown Cuernavaca and it was filled with locals and tourist. It was filled with so many places to shop I actually ditched my friends for about an hour to explore the downtown on my own. My way of honoring Mexico during my trip a bought this really cool traditional Mexican shirt everyone loved it.

Throughout my travels I’d have to say other than France so far Mexico is a destination I feel I really immersed myself into the culture. I’ve learned so much in a short amount of time. I believe it’s because I didn't have any expectations. I was very open minded yet realistic. I encourage everyone to visit different parts of Mexico other than Tulum, Cancun, and Cabo etc.


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