How it all Started
My father once told me you should not travel to other countries until you travel your own first. You must know where you come from, that way you will never get lost if you want to come back. We did it, and while at times it felt unknown and uncomfortable, I always felt safe exploring.
It is impossible to talk to you about Mexico and not look at my childhood. There are certain ways I have always been, things I have always done, that are the result of who I am. There are other qualities that are the result of purposeful decisions I have made that led me to live the life I am living today. Those decisions are partially related to the way my parents raised me, particularly my father, brilliant and complicated, yet the most adventurous man I have ever known. He shaped me more than anyone else in my life.
He certainly made me curious about the world and all of its challenges. I grew up in a small community outside of Guadalajara where my sisters and I were able to enjoy and explore nature - climbing trees, riding bikes and taking long hikes. There was one TV to be shared among us, which taught me a great deal about negotiation skills, but what my father owned the most were books. He had bookshelf after bookshelf, top to bottom full of books, and I am sure he has read every one of them. He would always urge us to read and learn something new every day - it was his mission.
I have a lot of memories growing up in Mexico, but the ones I cherish the most are all the trips and adventures we had as a family. The trips normally did not include expensive hotel reservations or plane tickets, but instead they were full of adventure, excitement, miles and miles of sometimes unknown roads, and incredible scenes. Most of all , extraordinary anecdotes that can go from that time we walked for hours in the middle of a mangroves jungle to find a beautiful beach in Punta Mita, where we lit a fire and cooked the fish we caught that same morning, or sitting at the plaza of Dolores, Hidalgo enjoying a scoop of avocado or chicharron ice-cream, getting lost exploring all museums in Mexico City, or driving 600 miles on the coast of the Pacific Ocean Road. We always stopped to talk to the locals, always tried new and fresh food - sometimes in a fancy restaurant in San Miguel de Allende or Puebla and sometimes just under a small tree waiting for the fisherman to come back with our lunch.
When the time came to decide on moving to another country to pursue a degree, I chose Chicago. To be able to pursue my ambition, I found myself supported, not only by my family and friends, but also by my college professors to whom I owe a great deal of gratitude.
I arrived here in December of 2008, and let me tell you, people warned me about the weather, but nothing they said to me compared with what I felt stepping out of the airport that day. I was in a very unknown and unfamiliar place, speaking a language I needed to perfect, alone and miles away from a single person who knew who I was. It was do or die for me, so I took my fears and my homesickness, put them in the coat closet and decided to dive into what I had decided to do. This was the most courageous thing I have ever done, and I do not regret any part of the journey that has been getting to know the American Culture.
This noble country has given me what I love the most - a family, a home, friends, experiences, and most of all, the opportunity of exploring, tasting, and learning a whole new way to understand and see the world. The fear and the uncomfortable feelings I had faded away, allowing me to feel at home.
Here is where the need to show the Mexico I know was first born. I knew I could not do it alone; Mexico is complex and diverse, and it has a unique reality that is impossible to ignore. In order to honor that complexity and richness, we have invited Mexicans to share their stories, recipes, tips and most of all, their unique perception and understanding of Mexico.
We would like to invite you to get on board, ride with us, and let us show you why it is so great to be Mexican. Poquio will explore Mexico, with its unique flavors and experiences and people you would never have had the opportunity to meet. Let us make that introduction for you. This will be one of the best decisions you make, and while it might feel uncomfortable and at times unknown, trust us, you will enjoy the journey. Enjoy!