BootsnAll Travel Network


We´re here, and it´s spectacularly beautiful. My eyes can´t take it all in. It does seem MUCH more prosperous than it was in the 90s. Guanajuato is alive with a civilized bustle, some avant garde art exibitions, students milling in the streets with books and backpacks, and a lively international crowd at the hostel: a Swiss guy, some people from the USA (besides us), a Dutch guy playing his guitar in the bar, Mexican couples on vacation from the south, a terrific woman about my age from Oregon who has been traveling alone and staying in hostels all over Mexico since last September. After a lunch with flavors that changed four or five times before they were done (dried pea cream soup, cilantro chicken), Gallo and Ansie went wandering this afternoon while I took some time to be still, look, and even lie on the bed breathing.

Mexico has changed. The cars are bigger and newer. The people in the street are well-dressed. The vendors are smiling. There must still be poverty, but it doesn´t show, not at first glance. Posters in the street advertise a walk to raise money for cancer prevention. A health center offers immunizations for small children. There are computers in every window, twenty-somethings meet in the plaza and sit by the fountains gazing into laptops, high school kids bounce their heads to ipods, elementary school kids carry hand-held computer games. No litter. Smell of disinfectant. Trash baskets neatly filled with plastic bags.

What hasn´t changed is the supersaturated color (orange! turquoise! ochre! hot pink! mustard! chocolate brown with red trim!), the gentle and easy friendliness of people in the streets and shops, textures of stucco and stonework and elaborately carved wooden doors, little shrines to saints I never heard of, churches with statues dressed in velvet. What hasn´t changed is the energy around the university, the back and forth of rapid-fire Mexican Spanish, jacaranda in blossom, heaps of bouganvillea, dust rising in the sun, and most of all, the skies: from clear bright sun, to an iron-gray sky with a little wind and rain and quick streaks of lightning, to semi-clear again, all these changes piling on top of each other in minutes. Mexico. Verdad.

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