Mexico Trek!   Trekkers DISPATCH: September 6 Shawn's Log

Mi Familia

Over the past couple of weeks I have gotten to know my host family, the Marroquins. They live in South Mexico City in a two-story house just off a busy road called Iztapalapa. The house is fairly big and sunny, but, like most houses here, does not have a yard because extra space for such luxuries is scarce. Sr. y Sra. Marroquin at their wedding about 1964Often kids here live at home much longer than we do in the US because rents are so expensive and jobs are hard to find.

There are six members of the Marroquin family, and all of the children are adults, but only the two eldest sons have ventured out on their own.

My host father, Alberto, worked as an accountant in the government for 30 years. His job was to approve money for roads that needed to be built all over Mexico. He is retired now, but still works as a consultant for the government. During his free time he likes to hang at the local tennis club with all his old friends.

Mama Marroquin Lucille, my host mom, used to own a video store, but now mainly works at home taking care of the family, and likes to spend a great deal of time socializing. She showed me how to make tortillas in the traditional Northern Mexican style. In Northern Mexico, wheat tortillas are usually favored, whereas in Mexico City people mainly eat corn tortillas. The Marroquins eat tortillas at almost every meal, and Senora Marroquin's are quite delicious.

Their oldest son, Alberto Jr., is an accountant like his father. He is 33 and married, with two very cute children, Zaira and Diana, who are 3 and 4. I only met this branch of the family once because they live three hours away in Queretaro and only get a chance to visit once every month or two.

The second son, Gustavo, is a project manager at a computer company. He lives on his own not very far away and works many hours, often until one o’clock in the morning. His company is very involved in projects Hugo peeks over Lucy’s shoulder as she takes a picture of Mexico Trekkers Silvia and Shawnsuch as bringing the internet into schools and into indigenous communities here in Mexico.

Alan, the second-oldest at 28, is a part-time car salesman. He still lives at home and has been very generous to let me use his bed and room while he sleeps on the couch. He gets a big kick out of mispronouncing my name - "chon" - which means underwear in Spanish.

Lucy, their only daughter, is 25 and works every day as a graphic designer. She is an excellent painter and graphic artist and she is especially good with watercolors and rendering portraits. She is studying English and will be spending next summer in Canada.

Hugo and Shawn on the townHugo, the youngest, is 21, but has traveled a lot and lived in French Belgium as an AFS exchange student. MarvinHe speaks Spanish, French, English, a little Italian, and Esparanto, an international language developed in the seventies to help unify the world. I share a room with him, and he has been a very gracious host, spending a great deal of time showing Monica and me around, and giving me much-needed Spanish lessons.

If the Marroquins are any indication, Mexican people are very generous and friendly. They have opened up their lives to me and are always willing to share and help out with whatever I am doing.


Related Dispatches: 
Monica - Mi Familia
Shawn - Mi Familia
Team - Picture It: You, in Mexico, next year… Find out how!

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