In May I posted my own memories of growing up on Mexican time. Reflecting on what I gained from growing up in and out of Mexico made me curious to hear our readers’ stories and questions about raising kids in Mexico. I found some interesting letters in the People’s Guide archives, including Moving to Mexico with a teenage daughter?
In addition, Nora Hooper kindly sent me her memories of raising her little girl in Bucerias.
“It was the best place to raise a child and it broke my heart to leave,” she writes. “It was such a shock when I moved back to Canada and found that my daughter wasn’t welcome everywhere: Friends would want me to get a sitter, or people would glare at us in restaurants. In Mexico, people would be upset if Mireya wasn’t with me. Restaurants would arrange furniture so she could nap across chairs. If she fussed, they’d get one of their older kids to walk her. We made some great friends that way!
She even came to work with me in the dive shop, and if I could round up an older kid to watch her, she came on the dive boat with us sometimes. The taco vendors made her special food and brought it to the shop when she was very little (and even brought home remedies and special foods for my morning sickness when I was pregnant). I was blessed with a wonderful friend who acted as her nanny, and Mireya spent her first three years with eight brothers and sisters. She got to play and learn, secure in the love of her extended family and the people of the town. If I walked to town to do my shopping and she wasn’t with me there would be many concerned questions from all the women in the stores and the market.”
When I asked Nora if she encountered special challenges to raising a child in Mexico.
“One challenge we faced was medical care,” she acknowledged. “She had childhood asthma and was quite sick. I would hope that that has improved since we lived there (17 years ago). We eventually followed a folk lore cure and she has never had asthma again. Of course, we had the old standby recommended by the The People’s Guide, Where There is No Doctor and I referred to it often.”
Hooper finished by saying “My life is so much richer for the years I spent traveling and living in Mexico, and I’m so glad that my daughter started her life there as well. We hope to go back next winter and spend a few weeks and hopefully after that we can do more traveling “home” again. My advice to anyone traveling with a child in Mexico is to be open to the love and friendship offered to you by the local people. You will all benefit from it!
“I also wanted to say that it was looking through a friend’s first edition of The People’s Guide to Mexico that got me on the road to Mexico the first time! I looked at the book one cold winter day and a few months later was on a plane and the next year in a bus heading south for the winter! Thanks for the inspiration that the book gave me, and I know I’m not the only one with that story!”
I’d love to write additional posts about raising kids/growing up in Mexico, so please drop me a line if you have memories, horror stories, or advice you’d like to share.