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Column 072417 Wall

Monday, July 24, 2017

Our Family's 2017 Summer Vacation Visit to Mexico

By Allan Wall

My family and I (there are four of us) recently returned from our annual summer visit to Mexico.

First let me explain how our family came to be, and why we go to Mexico each summer.

I resided in Mexico a decade and a half, where I worked as an English teacher.  There I met and married Lilia, and later our two sons (David and Raphael) were born.  Several years back I received a job offer stateside, and so we moved here to the U.S.  But we visit Mexico at least twice a year, in the summer and at Christmastime.

Spending time in Mexico is an effective way to visit my wife’s family, our friends, old sites, and to reconnect with the country.

We drove into Mexico and went to the Mexican immigration border station, where I obtained a personal permit to be in Mexico and a car permit.  (Mexico requires permits for cars from the outside, to protect its own car manufacturing industry.) 

Eventually we arrived in the urban area where we formerly resided, and where my wife’s parents still reside.

We visited my wife’s parents (she is an only child), and saw other relatives and friends.

We like to go to the movie theater when we’re in Mexico, as the cinemas there are very nice and more reasonable in price than where we live in the United States. 

The cinema business is a big one in Mexico, and many English-language movies are shown.  If the movie is considered as being for children, the dialogue is overdubbed in Spanish. But if it’s not, the dialogue is left in English and there are Spanish subtitles.  

This time we saw two movies: Cars 3, and Spider-man: Homecoming.  Cars 3, being a kiddie movie, was overdubbed and the Spider-man movie we saw was subtitled.

The Cars movies, by Pixar, are about anthropomorphic automobiles, cars that think and talk and act as humans.  The protagonist is Lightning McQueen (Rayo McQueen in Spanish), a race car.  In Cars 3, McQueen struggles to deal with a younger race car opponent and, in the show’s final race, allows a female car who was his trainer to finish the race for him.

The Spider-man movie was based on the Marvel comic book, of which I was once a faithful reader, about a hero with spider powers.  In recent decades, a number of Spider-man movies have been made with various actors.  This movie has Peter Parker (Spider-man’s secret identity) still in high school.  In fact, the “Homecoming” in the movie’s title wasn’t really about “coming home” but about a “homecoming dance” at Peter Parker’s school.  (But in the movie, the “homecoming dance” really seemed more like a prom, as I saw nothing about a sports event preceding it.  At least that’s what a “homecoming” was where I came from.)

We also got some mechanical work done on our car while in Mexico.  Wages for labor are much cheaper in Mexico, which explains why many American employers prefer to hire illegal Mexican labor. 

As far as mechanical work, in the metropolitan area we visited there are many mechanical shops of various types.

This is also the first trip I have made to Mexico with Donald Trump as president of the United States.  (When we went at Christmastime Trump had been elected but not inaugurated.)

Trump is still viewed quite badly in Mexico, which is not surprising given the negative media coverage.  On the other hand, life goes on and there are plenty of things going on in Mexico to occupy people’s attention.

I did see an anti-Trump t-shirt for sale.  And my son David (who turned 18 on the trip) purchased a Trump mask in a marketplace.  (David is an avid Trumpster and even attended the inauguration as part of a youth organization.)

Also in Mexico, we visited a silversmith’s shop, and he showed us some of the processes he uses to process the silver. The silversmith seemed glad to have people who actually showed an interest in his craft.  The silversmith trade is an ancient one, and remember that Mexico is the world’s number one silver producer. 


Allan Wall, an educator, resided in Mexico for many years.  His website is located at

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