Recipe to treat old wounds: Tecate with lime and salt

Tecate_Lime_Salt_Wounds Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, MX-- Halfway through my trip I am finally able to sit down and write. Most days I am exhausted, but happily so. Besides enjoying my family's company, practicing Spanish, and learning to do things just a little bit differently, I am also learning how to cook and prepare food and drink that my family eats.

Some of the juiciest conversations I have been a part of have been over ice-chilled Tecate, with lime and a pinch of salt. There is something fitting about the taste of sour lime combined with the bite of salt and cold cheap beer to explore memories and emotions that are painful. Speaking openly is often accompanied by such a beverage, and as a result I am inheriting stories of old wounds.

Without sharing details of what I have learned, the pain and hurt I am observing is universal and we can all relate to it. I think these feelings exist in all of us, of course with different words and expressions, but in English may be described as some of the following: resentment, shame, jealousy, nostalgia, sorrow, anger and fear.

By deciding to leave myself open to learning whatever I might on this trip, I have left my own wounds vulnerable to re-opening, especially ones that I have experienced together with my mother. This trip has been about exploring the root of my identity through my mom, so it is fitting that both of our wounds might be re-opened, but also opened to healing. As a result, an important thing I have learned is that our relationship and our story was impacted greatly by her decision to leave past pain behind. But this is a story will have to wait for another day.

Most importantly I have learned that the recipe of cheap beer with salt and lime can not only re-open wounds, it can also be a remedy.


When I get back to California my hope is to initiate themed conversations around family story, culture and identity shared over the meals and drinks I have learned from my family here. I plan on providing food prepared by me and a topic for conversation. If you're interested in participating or hosting this kind of event please let me know.




Guadalupe Project: Seeking Seamstress for Collaborative Art

I'm really excited about a project I'm working on, whose pet name is the Guadalupe Project. This body of work is a collaborative exploration of imagery of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a highly revered saint, cherished by most of Mexico as well as immigrants to the United States. I'm looking for bad ass collaborators to get this project off the ground.

Seeking Seamstress for Collaborative Art Project

I’m looking for a seamstress to collaborate with me to design and ultimately create a dress that emulates the one worn in the Mexican iconic image of the Virgin of Guadalupe.

Our model/actress/collaborator will wear this dress during staged and candid photography shoots in the community of Watsonville, CA. The goal of this project is to explore the following questions:

What would the Virgin of Guadalupe do if she stepped out of her painting to visit Watsonville, a Mexican transnational community?

Who would she visit?

Where would she go?

What would she do?

How will people react?”

Project Details

One goal of this project is to tell the story of Watsonville and its relationship with the highly cherished female saint and goddess. The narrative of the project and its collaborators is critical to this project. Hence, I am looking for a collaborator who has a personal connection to the Virgin of Guadalupe, Watsonville, the Pinto Lake Shrine, or the Mexican immigrant experience in the United States. A bilingual Spanish-speaker would also be nice. The ideal collaborator can also create this wearable art piece with an open heart and mind, wants to be part of the narrative and story of the project, can work with a budget in mind, is innovative, a good problem-solver, and is attentive to detail in his/her craft.

The final images (and possibly the costume itself) will likely be exhibited in a gallery atmosphere, but it is also critical to me to share the images with an audience that may not go into a gallery. The work may appear in blog posts, newspapers, non-traditional publications, as well as local and family-owned businesses in Watsonville, and beyond! I also hope to publish a book of the images.

Please contact me by phone or email. I’m anxious to start design and construction in Fall 2012, but will wait for the right collaborator.

PS I'm also looking for other kinds of collaborators in this work. Please contact me if this project excites you!