HOME: Being proud of home

Rigel Testas from Mexico, celebrating Christmas 2022 with her family back in her home town. (Submitted: Rigel Testas)

Growing up in Mexico made me proud of my roots. 

There hasn’t been a day away from home that I didn’t miss it. In Mexico, there is not a place where you will not find the history, colour and incredible aromas of our gastronomy. I miss being able to walk the streets of Mexico, find a taco stand and go to the mall.

There is always something different to do; walk in the beautiful Chapultepec Park, enjoy the weather or feed the fish.

In Mexico, we are proud of our history and always want to share our culture. 

My country is full of places for tourists, some of my favorites are undoubtedly the archaeological sites. There are too many throughout the country to name them all, but my favourite is the Teotihuacán pyramids. It is a place that I consider magical.

The sun and moon pyramids are my favourites. Being able to climb to the top of the great pyramid of the sun is something unique. The view is unbeatable and feeling the sun kiss your skin is fantastic. 

In Mexico, we are very proud of traditions. Even in death, we celebrate. 

The Day of the Dead is my favourite tradition; it has significant meaning and is celebrated on Nov. 2. One night a year, we can be with our loved ones. In each house, an altar is made with photos of the deceased and their favourite foods so they can enjoy them when they return home from the underworld, which we call, Mictlán. To guide the souls, a path of cempasúchil, or Mexican Marigold, petals make their way from the home’s door to the altar.

This is not only at home, if you go to the streets of the city centre you will witness a great party. People dance dressed as catrinas and skulls. There are giant statues of mystical creatures that we call alebrijes, and a wave of the aroma of cempasúchil and delicious food abound. This tradition shows us that there is never a final goodbye to our loved ones and that we should not fear death.

In Mexico, we are very proud of our families, they are the ones who love and support us.

We Mexicans are loving and happy people. If we know something well, it is that family is very important. They are the people who will support you throughout your life and provide you with love and knowledge. 

I am very close to my family; there is not a day that I miss laughing with them, enjoying homemade food and being together. I miss seeing memes and laughing with my parents, joking around with my brother and playing video games whenever possible, gossiping with my sister and watching TV.

I have no doubt that my family will always be there for me. My family was a big part of helping me become who I am today. They taught me about what our values are and gave me a lot of love and support. I can’t wait to see them again.

Five hundred and fifty-eight words are not nearly enough to do justice to Mexico. I could talk for hours and hours about my country. I hope I have expressed how incredible Mexico is and why I love it so much. I am very excited to be able to return in the summer.