It might feel intimidating at first, but there’s nothing more wonderful than the community feel of a big Mexican family. Being born into a rather dispersed family, I was lucky enough to being married into such a family, one that, as most Mexican families, has a strong foundation in unity. Religious ceremonies, a shared meal, hosting parties at their homes and making visitors feel comfortable is a large part of their values and customs. Their story is a story of joy and grief, faith and traditions, and care and concern in a world that lacks perspective for young people.
Mexico’s divorce rate is one of the lowest in the world and generations of families typically live in the same neighborhood or in the same house, with children guaranteeing social security once their parents retire, which reflects the dedication to supporting family members and displaying loyalty.
Family ties are strong in Mexican culture and have been for centuries. With modern times, change comes, but Mexican families will always be rooted in tradition.
Little Vicky is blowing bubbles after her cousin’s wedding ceremony in León, Mexico, on February 1, 2014.
Police inspect a car December 16, 2015 to find out if it was robbed. Random car inspections are no rare thing to see in this neighborhood in León, Mexico, that is considered violent and unsafe.
A great part of my married-into family’s life happens on the streets of León, which is a rather unknown Mexican city, and is therefore more attractive to me, knowing that it is still a quiet underrepresented and documented city. Carlos Alberto’s day seems to have no end and he is always rushing from one place to another, getting picked up to work at a German car manufacturer in the early morning, coming back home in the evenings, doing all kind of necessary purchases for his newborn son and afterwards attending German language lessons on the other side of the city. I admire him for his never ending energy and his ability to still find time for his wife and newborn son, despite the terrible traffic.
(Shot with iPhone 6.)
Mexicans work more hours than anyone, so every Sunday is family day. Here, four of my married-into-family members challenge each other on the only significant green space in León.
No family member missing during Carlos Alberto’s and Magdalena’s wedding ceremony.
Little Lupita enjoys a confetti shower during her 5th birthday party in her front yard.
A shopper leaves a shoe store in the center of León, fully packed with shoes. León has a strong leather industry, offering shoes, boots, belts, jackets, and other leather accessories both to national and international markets. Often referred to as “The Global Shoe Capital” León has been making shoes since 1645, and it is this centuries-old history of craftsmanship.
A Mariachi group plays during my niece’s birthday party in the front yard. Mariachis can’t be missed at a party in Mexico, where traditions are still held high.
Newborn Mateo is baptized in a local church in Leon, Mexico, December 21, 2015, while he is held by his godmother in a separate room that is separated from the church nave.
Carlos Alberto is searching for a free parking lot shortly before entering the gate to the local church to attend his son’s baptism ceremony in León, Mexico.
(Shot with iPhone 6.)
My niece Lupita jumps and throws another confetti rain close to her dancing parents and guitar playing Mariachis during her 5th birthday party in Leon.