|Living in Lake Chapala|
By Victoria Schmidt
By the time you read this, 2018 will finally be over. I hope 2019 will bring much hope and joy to the Mexican people.
We were looking towards family visitors in January. But after reading advisories from the US State Department that listed Jalisco and Guadalajara as too dangerous to travel in, and also stating that should citizen’s travel against the advisory, if they “got in trouble,” there would be nothing that US could do to help.
Thank you very much USA. This was to be the last opportunity for my husband to see two of his brothers and two of his sisters. His illness makes transportation impossible for him. And now they are too frightened to come to visit us in Mexico.
I love Mexico. I have felt safer here, than in any of my homes in the USA. I don’t fear a mass shooting here. In the many years I’ve been here, I’ve been burgled twice. Once by an American, who made restitution. Then most recently, by a young Mexican girl who was helping us before we moved. But I was also burgled in the States. I’ve walked at night, and not been afraid here. I did feel fear in the USA. I’ve also used common sense here to make sure I don’t make myself a target. I mind my own business, and keep aware of my surroundings.
In the United States, I would rarely start conversations with strangers or ask questions. Here I speak to everyone without hesitation…except my Spanish still isn’t as good as I would like it to be, but I learn more every day.
Here in Mexico, I never worry about my car breaking down, because people stop and help each other. It has happened with me. I’ve fallen and been picked up, and my husband fell in the States, and no one, absolutely no one stopped to help him. Here he gets help all the time. (He falls frequently.)
In Mexico, even as an American, I feel respected, cared for, and accepted, even though I am from the United States. I know that they don’t hold me responsible for the way that certain people in the USA feel about people south of the border.
At this point in my life, I’d much rather live in Mexico. I wish our families could experience the life we live, the people we love, and the culture of the Mexicans. It is the loss of our families.
I have so much to thank Mexico for. The doctors in Mexico saved my husband’s life the first year we were here. My own health is better. Our neighbors took us into their homes, their hearts, and some even took us into their families. We’ve found a place where what we have is unimportant, but who we are, and who we are with, and who we love is the most important thing. That celebrating life, the moment, and each other makes life special. I’ve learned that things are unimportant, and the people in my life are the only thing that matters.
I am so sorry that our families have swallowed the fake news, the fear mongering, and that they will miss out experiencing the wonders of Mexico for themselves. Here, they will miss out on our beautiful lake, the mountains, the rides we were going to take, the theatre, the wonderful restaurants, meeting many of our friends, shopping, and enjoying Mexican fiestas. But mostly, they will miss my husband. All because there are people in the USA who take delight in making people afraid.