Who we are
About the banner
The Mex Files writes about many facets of Mexico — historical, cultural, social and political. The banner represents some of these concerns.
From left to right we have:
A 1927 photograph by Tina Modetti . The Italian born artist and photographer commented too on the Mexico of her time from the perspective of a foreign resident, sympathetic to the left.
Miguel Covarrubia’s “Tehuana“. The Oaxacaño artist and anthropologist reveled in the diversity of Mexican cultures.
Popocatépetl and Mexico City. To not write of the Capital — the center of the universe to the Aztecs — and, in so many ways the center of Latin American and Hispanic culture and economics — would be as absurd as writing about Italy and ignoring Rome.
1988 protest. Mexican history is not a matter of what happened in 1521, or 1821 or 1921, but more recent events, which are grounded in the past. And which still resonate today.
Andrew Jackson Grayson painting from Birds of the Pacific Slope. Grayson threw up a respectable career as a shop-keeper in the United States to pursue his interests (art and ornithology) in Mexico — moving economically downscale to Mazatlán, Sinaloa where I live now. How can I not relate to that?
When I moved to Mexico at the age of 45, I said I was from Texas. True, though I grew up in western New York State.
I studied English and Biology (and Classics, for God knows why), but found that qualified me to be a starving artiste… so with a year of computer and accounting courses, reinvented myself as a technical writer… which I did long enough to never want to write “Press any key to continue” as long as I lived. By that time, I was living in Houston, in a Mexican neighborhood, and traveling every chance I had back and forth to Mexico. Flights were cheap and I didn’t have anything more pressing to do than to fly down to Mexico City every three day weekend I could.
When the dot.com industry went belly-up, I was ready for a change anyway. So, half-way into a still-unfinished book on Mexican History, I took a job teaching English at a grade school in Cuernavaca. I don’t particularly like kids (and cannibalism is no longer an option in Mexico), so moved to Mexico City, where I taught English, did translations, wrote and went bust setting up an avocado exporter.
I spent two year in Texas, mostly in the Big Bend region, exploring the borderlands (mostly because I needed to make a living and when I wasn’t reporting for a couple of local weekly newspapers, was a chauffeur for railroad crews) and working on Gods, Gauchipines and Gringos. I moved to Mazatlan in March 2008.
Between working for my publisher, writing and a bit of travel, I still do translations, at Mexican rates, by the way. My overhead is low, but MexFiles takes up the bulk of my time — and electric bills. I don’t want to put up advertising, or charge for the site, so do ask for donations via PalPal.
Lyn worked with the migrant farmerworker community, and with the immigrant community in the United States. She is a fearless Mexican traveller, going far off the beaten path sometimes by the simple expedient of following the hotel maid about her daily chores.
Lyn’s lair lay somewhere in the mountains (of Colorado) in dangerous “occupied territory”… her congressman was anti-immigrant activist Tom Tancredo during the time she wrote for MexFiles.