It’s funny how once you set your mind on something, it has a way of showing up in different instances.
Last summer, a good friend of mine told me she’d be moving to Mexico City for a fellowship. Ever since then, I’ve been trying to plan a trip out there with another friend who’s also been longing to visit the giant metropolis.
In the past several weeks, some really strong figures from Mexico have paid a visit to El Paso, reminding me of the diverse talent that comes from our neighbor.
It started on April 28 when investigative journalist Anabel Hernandez stopped at Café Mayapan to talk about her book “La Verdadera Noche de Iguala” and the 43 missing students of the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College in Guerrero, Mexico. Several times, she dauntlessly uncovered political corruption and the drug trades that have lead to countless deaths in the country.
A week later, I caught a 2014 episode of Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown” where he explored several cities and towns in Mexico, and lo and behold, there was Hernandez, serving Bourdain slices of lime and a tequila shot.
Bourdain said to her about Mexico, “You can kill a journalist and get away with it. Why are you still here?” Her answer gave me goose bumps:
“My work of a journalist is everything for me. I really believe that good journalists can change the world. I have received many offers to go outside to France, to Sweden and other countries. I don’t want to leave. It’s my choice. My choice is to fight.”
On May 12, I had the honor of meeting Mexico City songbird Rosy Arango backstage before her performance with Mexican guitar virtuoso Ruben Esparza and his accompanying band of sons and grandsons, Las Zacatecas.
The office of El Paso’s Consulate General of Mexico brought them to the Scottish Rite Theatre for a free concert, and it was one that I wish there were more of, since so many people would have loved it. Arango’s stage presence and incredible wide-ranging vocals drew every listener in. Backstage, she was refreshingly friendly and welcoming. When I do visit Mexico City, I hope to see her on stage again.
Most recently, I attended the 13th annual International Women’s Business Symposium: Dancing Backwards in High Heels. There, I got to meet Karla Martinez de Salas, the editor-in-chief of Vogue for Mexico/Latin America. It turns out that she grew up in El Paso and graduated from Loretto Academy. Her husband’s job brought them to Mexico City. At a time when she was W Magazine’s fashion market and accessories director, she wasn’t sure where such a big move would take her in her career, but now look at her! AND she became Vogue’s editor after having twins. Sheesh!
It’s a huge honor that I was able to be in the presence of such strong, driven women. And, universe, if this is your way of telling me that I need to get my butt to Mexico City – I’m listening.