Adrilia blog Mexico market

I just recently returned from another trip to Mexico. Though I was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, every time I travel to Mexico I realize that what the country and its people offer to me … the beauty, the lessons, the transformation … goes way beyond simply feeling “at home” because we share the same language. 

The first time I visited Mexico, shortly after my college graduation, the country gifted me with the rediscovery of my language, my rhythm, my identity. I had spent years in the U.S. learning how to be American and — unbeknownst to me –forgetting how to be Hispanic. My first trip to Mexico healed all that; allowing me to reclaim and reintegrate who I was, my purpose and my work in the U.S.

This time, the lessons of the trip were around resonance, healing and community. It is true that there’s always a tradeoff — Mexico is Mexico, ancient, dusty, rustic, with its water challenges and its raw environments. But also, Mexico is Mexico with its delicious fruits, art and architecture and especially its beautiful, warm, service-oriented people.

In Mexico, when you sit at a restaurant and you are left alone for a while, you are not being ignored … rather they’re giving you the gift of respect, the gift of space, the gift of time. They want you to take your time and enjoy yourself. Most Mexicans are wonderfully adept at customer service because they understand on a very deep sense the concept of empathy and true service, service with heart.

During this trip I had the pleasure of observing food being prepared with love, care and heart.  Humble people not asking for money but rather selling their wares, not taking the “no’s” personally. People in a village who, instead of setting their trash containers outside for the garbage truck to pick them up, wait for the truck and take out their trash so they can thank the worker and in the process build community. Just experiencing something as communal and simple as that is inspirational for what’s needed, what’s missing and what’s possible in our workplaces, in our management, in our communities.

Also on this trip I gained a whole new level of appreciation for the skill, handiwork and artistic ability of the Mexican people. The clothing, the weavings, the colors, the flowers, the beads, the masks, the crafts. These are a people truly gifted with hands that heal, hearts that understand, skill that transforms ordinary items into art.

My entire journey was a celebration of community and a recognition of the true spirit of service in community, through food, through bartered exchanges at the market, through contact with nature, amazing sites and well-grounded people. An inspiration for my heart, for my training and consulting work, for my work-in-the world.

Do you have a similar story?


How does travel inspire you?