Last week I was in Mexico City and Guadalajara on business. In two weeks I’ll be back in Mexico City – that will be my 5th or 6th trip to Mexico this year. Even though it’s business travel I’ve come to have a fondness for Mexico and the Mexican people who I have encountered. Now to be fair I’m the customer or guest in all these encounters so I guess that I likely don’t have a realistic view of life in Mexico – just what “my handlers” want me to see. But I’ve been well handled.
While everyone at home has been telling me to “be careful” in Mexico and to avoid travel there; that hasn’t really been an option for me. Others in my company have backed out of travel “south of the border” for various and assorted reasons but I suspect fear or ignorance or a combination of both. I’m not so naive to believe that there is no danger in Mexico right now. But my experience has been no different from when I travel to any major city or unknown destination – exercise caution and employ common sense. Also I don’t knowingly associate with drug dealers or any other sketchy characters. And I don’t make myself a target by hanging around in less than desirable locales.
The professionals that I have dealt with are well traveled, intelligent, thoughtful individuals. Their hospitality and consideration toward me has been overwhelming. Again, as I stated before, I am their customer so I would expect some deference. But the way that I have been treated is much more than the standard customer service to which I have become accustomed. So while travel to Mexico is slightly challenging (long lines in customs, language barriers, cultural confusion), the plus side is that I have met some wonderful people who love their country and are proud to be Mexicans. In addition they have treated me as a welcome guest instead of an annoying outsider.
A company that I am working with is owned by one family. The patriarch is named Edmundo as well as his son Edmundo Junior. They work with their nephew/cousin also named Edmundo. Both of the junior Edmundos each have sons named Edmundo as well. One family building and sharing a successful business together is remarkable in and of itself. The fact that they have employees that have been with them for over 30 and 40 years is a testament to the company and the extraordinary leadership and loyalty of the Edmundos.
I look forward to my next trip and my continued association with my new friends. For me Mexico was once little more than a vacation destination. Now I realize that is a splendid country which is home for some truly remarkable people. And I thank God for letting my world get just a little bit smaller.
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me.” Matthew 25:35