People of Mexico
A Mexican in Peru
by Monica Lavín
I am Mexican, that is never forgotten. This land is carried in the blood. The land is more than a geographical point on the planet; the land calls, because the land is people, the land are faces, the land are hearts, the land are stories woven around a table -a meal, certain smells, flavors, certain tones of voice, background music, hugs, farewells.
I am Mexican, and no matter how far I am from home, my heart will never stop beating for my family. I will never cease to be moved when listening to my national anthem or to see my flag waving, I will never cease to feel longing when hearing a "México lindo y querido..." I will never forget my close friends, who have known me very well and who will continue being part of me… a Mexican in Peru.
It has been 20 years since I left my country - my suitcases loaded with expectations. 20 years ago, the Spanish company I worked for saw something in me and gave me the opportunity to build my professional career in this complicated, but beautiful Inca land.
I never imagined what awaited me. I never imagined meeting the man who today is my life partner and the father of my children, a loving husband with whom we have built so much... lived so much... And here we are: a bicultural home, where sometimes the beans are Peruvian style and sometimes Mexican... Where a ranchera is sung, and a marinera is enjoyed, where we discuss which ceviche is the best and which tequila or pisco is better, but in the end, where you learn to value everything, here and there.
I never imagined that I would build my life here in Peru, nor that here my children would grow up, or that here I would come to occupy the General Manager of a transnational company; that my Peru would give me friends who became my family at heart.
There are memories of one land mixed with the other, such as the time that, as part of the Bicentennial Regatta "Velas Sudamérica 2010," I visited the Cuauhtémoc Sailboat in the Port of Callao which is a training ship of the Mexican Navy, also known as the Mexican Ambassador and Knight of the Seas. I will never forget how when I step inside the boat to an elegant member of the Navy saying ‘Welcome to Mexico!’ While listening to the mariachis play and despite the cold wind from the South Pacific, I could feel sheltered by my country once again.
It is impossible to forget the celebrations of our Independence day, where we shout ‘Viva México’ every year! Almost 5000 kilometers away and still feeling close, It has also being a pleasure to cooperate with our Embassy by bringing for more than 15 years a little piece of my country through offering Mexican Gastronomic and Cultural Festivals, and always, always with great pride to showing country to others!
Thank you, Mexico, for seeing me born, for seeing me grow. Thank you, Peru, for completing me in such a beautiful way. Thank you, God, for being there with me no matter where I go.
In life, one seeks his own path; one seeks to fill his heart, love, family, friendships, trips, experiences, work; everything is part of life, but in my case, I was given a dream, a dream that I received by faith. After living a life full of the fruit of our work, my husband and I decided to come, higher, not only in height reaching 3,300 meters above sea level in the middle of the Peruvian Andes, but higher in purpose; a purpose that was not only for us, but for those where little goes, where little reaches, where much is missing, where much is needed.
And so, almost three years ago we left our jobs, we left the beautiful Lima, the modern Lima, the Lima of so many options, to come to Cusco, the navel of the world. Cusco is known for its Machupicchu, its Sacsayhuaman, its Inti Raymi, its Historic Center, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, its salt from Maras, its cocoa, its enterprising and thriving people and so many beautiful things.
But Cusco is not only the dream of every traveler and more. Cusco is also the Cusco of thousands of children who live in extreme poverty, who survive among corn, potatoes and guinea pigs, but with anemia. A Cusco that shelters them with a radiant sun by day, but not enough to shelter them from the low temperatures at night. A Cusco where the skin of their cheeks, their little hands and their little feet breaks from cold, from dryness. A Cusco that hurts, that when you approach and enter under its roofs and see how little they can continue with, you wonder how much you have left over and those you know, how much you still must understand that it is better to give than to receive, how long have you lived believing what did you need more...
And in this Cusco, we live, being a bridge between those who open their generous hearts to give and between those who manage to receive. The work and dedication of the people of Cusco, who have believed that doing something for these little ones is doing it for Jesus Christ himself, for those who believe in his words collected in the Gospels.
Children who receive food, shelter, shoes, a new bed, warm bedspreads, the opportunity to be treated by a doctor, a dentist, time to tell their tutors that they do not understand the task and that they need help, looks of attention, of love, who seek to reflect their Creator in these small but important lives.
I do not know how long we will be here, because our children also have dreams to fulfill! What I do know is that wherever my family and I go, my heart will always seek to sow hope for heaven, which is finally my eternal land.