Pin It
Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Our Trip to Mexico: Drugs, Cartels and Violence?

By

I am standing in the middle of the dance floor at a glamorous wedding at a hacienda outside of Puebla, Mexico.

 

353

 

It’s one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited with old architecture, lush grass, beautiful flowers and secret hideaways.

 

lila-and-moe      pattern

 

There is a large band on stage with entertainers; everyone is dancing, laughing and celebrating. The bride’s father approaches to ask if I am having a good time. "This is the real Mexico," he says, before he walks away, motioning around him, “Not what you hear on the TV and in the papers.” And he was right.

 

The day after the wedding, we shared a ride back from the after-wedding party in the historic town of Cholula, Mexico with a French couple who had also attended the wedding. We got talking to the driver when he asked us how we liked Puebla. We explained how in each of our countries, Mexico receives such negative press that you never hear about the positive aspects of the country, as that is not newsworthy. The French couple shared their surprise at the nice supermarkets that even carried French products and many other things—it was not as poor as they expected. My husband confessed he was a bit worried about the level of danger, given all we hear about cartels, drugs, violence and kidnappings in Mexico. The driver shared his view: “Probably 30% of the country is bad—dangerous people, problems, violence. But that’s a minority. The majority of the country is like this.” Other Mexicans have put that percentage much higher (and yes, I have heard scary stories that have happened to people I know). But whatever the case, there are many great parts of Mexico worth visiting that are relatively untouched by violence.

 

We spent the day before the wedding exploring the old town of Puebla, a world heritage site.

 

111

 

147

 

97

 

The colonial architecture dates back to the 1500s, with bright colors and unique patterns.

 

Out of everything we saw that day, my youngest daughter was most fascinated by a statue of Jesus, covered in blood that was in the old cathedral.

 

Lila-and-bloody-jesus

 

She stared at it for 10 minutes asking questions and more questions. I explained to her in simple terms about Jesus. I left out that he was the son of God, because as non-Christians, we don’t actually believe that. Even though my husband is Muslim and I am not, we share the same views on Jesus, which is that he was a prophet. I explained this to my daughter, that he was a very kind person, a great person, a powerful person. She listened intently. I tried to gloss over that he was nailed to a cross as that seemed a bit gruesome to share at age four, but she kept pressing for details of all the blood.  As each of the visitors stopped to cross themselves in front of Jesus, Lila informed them, “Did you know he was a very powerful person?”

 

Lila also loved the dresses you see in storefronts everywhere as often as you find Starbucks in the U.S. “When I grow up, can I be a princess and where that dress?” she kept asking.

 

150

 

My older daughter loved the pigeons and fountains.

 

122     127

 

But perhaps the best thing of all about Puebla and our trip to Mexico was watching one of my best friends glow at her wedding and witness her perfect wedding day unroll, with every single detail exactly as she had always dreamed.

 

247     255

 

 

© 2013, Stephanie Meade. All rights reserved.

More Great Stuff You'll Love:


Primary School Privilege

Time outs due to whistling versus school's out due to poverty

Si­, Yes: Raising Bilingual Twins

Language acquisition in three-and-a-half year old, bilingual twins.

Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan

Colleague drank your breast milk from the work fridge again? Tales of breastfeeding in Mongolia

A Different World: No Longer Brown in White America

Is it racist to not want to raise your kids in white America?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Stephanie is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of InCultureParent. She has two Moroccan-American daughters (ages 5 and 6), whom she is raising, together with her husband, bilingual in Arabic and English at home, while also introducing Spanish. After many moves worldwide, she currently lives in Berkeley, California.

Leave us a comment!

3 Comments
  1. CommentsJeffrey Nelson   |  Wednesday, 05 June 2013 at 7:59 pm

    Great article! My wife is from Mexico and we just went there for a week and took my parents from North Dakota. They were expecting drug cartels, violence, and decapitations however they were pleasantly surprised to find the beaches of Los Cabos very inviting and welcoming! Thanks for getting out the word!

  2. CommentsThe Editors   |  Wednesday, 05 June 2013 at 8:55 pm

    Hi Jeffrey! Mexico is such a fantastic country. That’s great your parents were able to go and realize their stereotype wasn’t valid. I have to work on getting mine to go to Morocco :)
    Un saludo,
    Stephanie

  3. CommentsInCultureParent | It’s Easier Than You Think for Your Child to Drown   |  Tuesday, 25 June 2013 at 10:20 am

    […] were on vacation in Mexico and both my husband and I were in the small hotel pool, together with our four- and six-year-old […]









Notify me of follow-up comments via e-mail.
Or leave your email address and click here to receive email notifications of new comments without leaving a comment yourself.

Get weekly updates right in your inbox so you don't miss out!



A Children's Book for Raising Global Citizens

Every life is a story. It’s easier to understand someone when you know their story.

Why I Travel 13 Hours Alone with My Kids Every Chance I Get

Travelling with children, while definitely more of a mission, contradicts the old saying that “life is about the journey, not the destination.”

A Diverse Book for Preschoolers in Celebration of Multicultural Children's Book Day

A book that honestly and simply celebrates the every day diversity that children experience.

Why My African Feminist Mother Gave Me the Identity of My Father's Tribe

She gave me an identity so different from her own.

2 Children’s Books about Jamaica

Explore Jamaica with your child.

Costa Rica with Kids: Two Weeks of Family Travel

Two weeks of Pura Vida in a country with so much to offer families.

Should I Worry about My Child's Accent in Her Foreign Language?

See why Dr. Gupta takes offense to this question and where children learn accents from

How to raise trilingual kids when exposure to Dad's language is limited

My kids only get 1-2 hours of the minority language per day-help!
[…] Peru, 97 percent of newborns are breastfed, according to LLLI. In Culture Parent reported that 69 percent of Peruvian children are breastfed exclusively from birth to five months, and ou...
From Breastfeeding Around the World
Hi I was googling Islamic beliefs when I came across your post. We are American and our neighbors are from Pakistan I think. Our kids love playing together but their dad doesn't allow the kids to co...
From An Islamic Perspective on Child-Rearing and Discipline
Mother’s Day is the most perfect and accurate Occasion to express your Love and Gratitude towards Mothe...
From Holi Craft: Straw Painting
[…] Muslims fast for 30 days every year for Ramadan, which is one of the five pillars of Islam. Ramadan this year is happening during most of the month […...
From Ramadan: June 28-July 28
[…] Raising a Little Buddha – Part 1, InCulture Parent — Post by a Buddhist Minister about raising an enlightened child.  It starts with intimacy, communication, and community. [R...
From How to Raise an Enlightened Child — Part I
[…] Breastfeeding in Jordan, InCulture Parent — Not as restrictive as one might think. […...
From Breastfeeding in Jordan
[…] Best and Worst Countries to be a Mother, InCulture Parent – “The 2010 Mothers’ Index rates 160 countries (43 developed nations and 117 in the developing world) in terms of th...
From Best and Worst Countries to be a Mother
[…] Why Americans Value Independent and Competitive Kids, InCultureParent — Interesting look at how our values impact our interactions with our children (babies in particular). […...
From Why Americans Value Independent and Competitive Kids
[…] Multiple Fathers and Healthier Children in the Amazon, InCulture Parent — a fascinating look at cultures in the Amazon where pregnant women have sex with more than one man as a means...
From Multiple Fathers and Healthier Children in the Amazon

More from Our Bloggers