A Guest Editorial by Genuine Tourist, Stephen Sardeson . . . . published without solicitation

Although Bob Cox, AKA, Mexico Mystic, would not “put his family out there,” I would like to share with readers how Mexico has been enriched by Bob, a one time, long time, illegal alien, South of the Border gringo, who has finally decided to “go straight.”

While young but not too foolish, Bob married a young lady from Puebla who new “better English” than the girl he first dated in Mexico. I guess it was the right call because the young lady, named Raquel, went on to be an accomplished English teacher in the Mexico federal school system for over 30 yrs.

In between “leaping over tall buildings with a single bound,” she also “pushed out” for him two children, named Michael and Claudia. Of course, Michael and Claudia both become fluent in Spanish and English, like their parents, and went on to give Bob and Raquel a total of 4 grandchildren who currently all live in Puebla.

You can see photos of both Bob and Raquel at –

Their adult children and grandchildren are all gainfully employed and work many long hours in local companies and hotels. Yet, they all find time to be helpful to their friends, neighbors, and “strangers,” like “Genuine Tourists” from the United States.

However, tourists are not “ever present” in Mexico. In fact, long periods of time pass every year when no one comes by, so they must “live out their lives” doing “ordinary things” like all of us do anywhere in the world. Claudia, their daughter has found ways to do this via the Methodist church and music. We were able to get a glimpse of her “ordinary life” when our “tourist mode” and her “ordinary life” happened to cross paths just this past March.

Claudia and most of her immediate and extended family, including Bob and Raquel, spent the day in Tepatlaxco, where Claudia participated in a choir that presented music practiced in the “city” of Puebla to the “rural” Mexican Methodist church in Tepatlaxco. A video follows which features Claudia singing and playing the flute, but first, you will meet Bob as he “plies his trade” as a professional tourist guide. The remainder of the video features the choir presentation.

While standing outside of he church after services, a Carnaval “Camda” (group) happen to come by that was unusually dressed according to Mexican Carnaval traditions. Bob quickly pointed out the “Morocco” style of dress of the dancers and explained the unusual fashion tradition. (Near the end of the above posted video are some photos the dancers.)

When the dancers finished, some of us “piled into” Bob’s son’s car for a quick ride back to Puebla in an air conditioned car. What did not go unnoticed, was that Michael had gone to great inconvenience to drive all the way from Puebla to bring food to the event and to take us back. AND, the remainder of the family, including Raquel, followed us back to Puebla in much slower and warmer public bus transportation. I couldn’t help but wonder if other less “giving families” would have just let the day go by with less food at the event and then repeated the trip back with everybody on public transportation.

Oh . . . and remember I said Bob is now going “straight?” Well, after 911 occurred, he began to wonder if the border might become so sealed that he could not bet back to Mexico to be with his “blended” family. So . . . he officially applied for a visa, began paying Mexican income taxes (almost unheard of by many Mexicans), and placed himself on a pathway to dual citizenship with USA and Mexico. About this time next year, he will be an official Mexican citizen.

So you see, it can work both ways . . . people do go “north of the border” but others want to go “south of the border” and live with their families. It is unfortunate, I think, that many families in the future will probably remain separated from one another and thus deprive both counties of the richness of intact families contributing their time, skills, and money to their friends, neighbors, and, yes, even strangers like us!

Stephen Sardeson, AKA, Genuine Tourist, reporting from Baraboo, WI, USA


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