Interested in going to Mexico? Tune into these 9 perspectives that help open the portal to life in Mexico and dive deeper into the Rancho lifestyle. Below we will describe how each word applies to the country and why they make it unique and informative. These 9 words are derived from our personal experience and perspective on how we view Mexico based on our adolescence, visit and analysis. These by no means depict the entire culture nor do they fully paint the beautiful picture that Mexico’s history and ancient culture has created. These 9 will help you get a broad understanding and for anyone interested in visiting can dive deeper into what to expect. Allow us to open the portal!
The explicit scenery in Mexico might catch some people off guard if they aren’t used to seeing the raw images that Mexico shows you. Common to the people is seeing carcasses of animals for sale, the straight up meat freshly killed and cut up, and the fact that they consume any animal in its entirety. We had an experience of a man catching a possum then cooking for dinner that same day. Many of the markets you’ll see the whole chicken dead and then cut up in front of you. You’ll experience a lot of meat markets with the chickens freshly killed and the meat fresh in the back and outside to see. It’s pretty raw if you ask me and if you are a sensitive vegan then you might want to avoid market places or at least close your eyes.
This might not be the case throughout all of Mexico as we mentioned in previous portals we are sharing the perspective of Juanacatlan, Mexico which is known as a Rancho(countryside), so the scenery might be a little more explicit here opposed to the city.
Is it sanitary?
A question we asked ourselves many many times as we saw the meat out for sale and the butchers cutting it raw. They definitely do not follow the same sanitary policies required in the states and the people are weary where they purchase their meat. When we asked our aunt about this she mentioned that they always boil their chicken in hot water before they cook it to help kill any bacteria that might be attached to it. We reconciled but still are skeptical about the whole process. Luckily being plant based this is not something we have to worry about to much.
This was a new perspective for us to caputre but common for many locals. We share this with you to help you appreciate sanitary laws but to also raise awarness of the meat industry and why going plant based can truly help the planet avoid unecessary pain and suffering. Mexico is definitely raw in its scenery but given the circumstances of its city it can be understood.
Many of you may know the popular “Mexican candies” that have made an appearance in the west. The most common meal here coffee and sweet bread, also to mention the sugar put in the coffee. Mexico needless to say has a huge sweet tooth, not just from its candies but from its breads and coffee and drinks. They enjoy the sweet flavor here from honey to cajeta, vanilla and ice cream. You’ll see bread everywhere you go and candy shops in every corner plus ice cream parlors and lots and lots of sugary foods. This directly correlates to Mexico being the 2nd country with the largest obesity rates, most of the kids here consume soda, bread, and candy on a regular basis which can lead to many health concerns. Yet they are very tasty and good. We experimented with these foods and how they affected our body and if you read our blog you’ll get a deeper look into how I felt. In a nutshell not so good. The lack of awareness of nutrition can be something that we could target and making more Mexicans go plant based!
As we crossed the bridge the horrific Odor of the river underneath was making us nauses. It seems that throughout the years many companies dumped toxic waste into the river polluting it and making it have a deep rotten smell to it. A river that used to be used for fishing and bathing is it unusable to its people and the odor making many of them sick. On top of that the corruption of its city has caused many of its people to settle for its circumstances. The average worker makes about $50-60 a week(converted to us) and that is barley enough for them to afford gas and food. Stories from the locals tell tales of police stopping them and accepting paid offerings to let them go. Many of them have also acknowledged that the government cares very little about them and they settle with what’s given to them looking for a happy simple life. When we arrived all gas stations where closed off due to a million dollar gas crisis where many people where breaking the gas pipes and stealing gas. You can tell many people here are becoming frustrated with the box they have been put in and others are happy just to be able to make it through.
In December of 2018 a new president was elected and the people hope that things will progress forward. The river is now being cleaned up, gas is being recirculated and other promises are hoped to be made. The country is healing but the corruption is still very appearent and it’ll take much more than a new president for the country to prosper and find peace.
As you walk through the markets you’ll see many many vendors of fruits and vegetables. We had the opportunity to pick fresh radishes and sweet potatoes from a local farm. We also got to milk a cow and drink the milk raw! Most of the produce that is farmer locally is sold locally so a majority of its fruits and vegatables are from local famers. The fresh organic feel for the food makes up for the sweet and greasy foods. We indulged in many fruits and vegetables and in our blog we dive deeper into how our body reacted to it 🙂
The last 4 days we spent in Mexico was during the celebration go the virgin de Guadalupe. One of the most common deities worshiped here in Mexico. The 4 days of celebration included the entire Pueblo and consisted of rituals, dancing, music, food, and more! Tune into the 4 day celebration portal here on our blog to get a deeper look into them! The country rely holds onto its faith and here in the Rancho their religion is ultimate truth and the way of life. With the way of life here it only makes sense that their faith and family are what gives them security and hope for the future.
6. Family oriented.
Many paths of life here in Mexico revolve around family and raising kids. Most of the woman here look forward to getting married, having kids, and becoming a housewife. Especially here in the Rancho it’s almost the most common expected path for woman here. The culture in itslef relies heavily on its family unity as it does on its faith. Many people stick close to their family or have a family on their own both staying connected and untied. In our experience here there are 4 houses next to one another all with my cousins, uncles, aunts all living together seeing each other daily. Even in the west cost the Latino family is known for staying connected through blood and keeping close bonds. The values go along with “family always comes first.” Although this creates a good unity it can also lead to a lack of self expression for most of the kids live under shadow of the parents or take a path that is accepted by the family. The need for acceptance and to be loved by the family unity can make it difficult for one to take a path less taken. The norm of the family unity is casted upon all individuals and it takes will power and awareness to carve your own path. Read our story on our blog on how we experienced this directly and the challenges of becoming plant based, going into spirituality and becoming independent.
Red, blue, yellow, pink, green, etc. all these colors stand out as the houses, poles, doors, and walls are all painte with bright exotic colors giving Mexico a unique colorful feel. No two houses are the same and looking around you get to enjoy the diversity of colorful expression. Take a look at all the colors we captured just from walking around the block from where we stayed. It is a beautiful site unlike the west cost where all the houses look basically the same.
We used this word to describe further the limited opportunity that Mexico and its people suffer from. The limited supply of money that is circulated to its people make it difficult to know any other life but what they are given. The average lifestyle here in el Rancho is work – eat – talk – sleep. We dove into the life of one our cousins here at 27 and her life is revolved around cooking, cleaning and taking care of the kids. When we asked her if that’s what she saw herself doing she answered with , “Well I don’t know what else I would be doing.” The education system becomes difficult since many people here either can’t afford it after high school or can’t afford transportation to the school due to the high gas prices. The people then become dependent and look for any opportunity they can. They spend hours and hours working just to be able to afford a house, food, and every now and to leave the city to explore. Needless to mention most of the people here don’t have papers and with the tension between Mexico and the states it doesn’t seem like many of them wk be leaving the country any time soon. We asked or cousins if they would like to visit the states and they said they would love to but doesn’t seem likely so they settle for life here. It truly becomes difficult for the people to gain a higher education, awareness of different opportunities and save up money to explore. Also to mention the silly expenses here like paying to use the bathroom, paying to use the freeway and paying to do anything really. That balances the fact that they pay very little in bills and only pay once a year for water and electricity. Most of them own their homes and save up money to invest in other things.
One thing I learned
during my portal here in Mexico is to truly be grateful for all you have. Read more about 3 things I learned in Mexico here. Many of the people here have appreciated what they have been given and even though the corruption, limited opportunities and low wages are apparent they still find ways to laugh, smile, dance and INjoy themselves. They tend to drink a lot and we observed how the pain of the city has bled into its people. Most of the men here just think about girls , drinking and food. The average mentality is comfort and they look for escapism through the bottle and food. Even through these known fact they still work hard and have fun with what they can. It has truly put into perspective the opportunities and abundance we have in the states and to never take anything for granted.