Steve Rogers and Churpa, circa 1982

Traveling with kids in Mexico is reasonably easy, and, unless your child is a real hell beast, it’s fun. Yes, there will be the moment when you’re dragging a foot-sore kid in flip-flops up a giant hill, and the embarrassing instance of screeching in the cathedral, but there’s also much to look forward to: boogie boarding in bathtub warm waves, snorkeling over brilliant reefs, tromping through ancient Mayan passageways, and reclining in a hammock as you watch your child zip by, screaming in Spanish like a local, tailed by a pack of new-found friends.

Mexico is a family-oriented country, and thus an ideal country for family travel. A  screeching child is unlikely to arouse dirty looks. In fact, a public meltdown will likely attract a flock of cooing abuelitas who will have your kid smiling again in seconds flat.

Traveling with a kid opens doors.  As a general rule, you will find hosts extra welcoming, waiters accommodating, and fellow passengers friendly and helpful. Your child will function as a magnet, drawing admiring new friends. This can get a little overwhelming at times, but it’s a great way to meet people and it’ll save you from the lazy, shy and all-t00-common tendency to squander an entire trip exclusively socializing with other gringos.

If you do feel like hobnobbing with adults or taking some time to yourself, you’ll find that it’s remarkably easy to procure competent, trustworthy childcare in Mexico. Hiring a local babysitter will improve your child’s language skills and understanding of local customs, and it can lead to lifelong friendships. I grew up traveling in Mexico, and was adopted into many a Mexican family. I picked up Spanish in the dirt streets of a village in rural Jalisco, and I had good manners instilled in me by a roster of Mexican babysitters, abuelitas, housekeepers, and family friends. I treasure many of those connections to this day.

(The above text is by Felisa Churpa Rosa Rogers, contributing writer for The People’s Guide to Mexico.)

School Days in Mexico, by Felisa Churpa Rosa Rogers