Guadalajara, Jalisco: A Source of Energy
It’s been more than ten years since I moved from Mexico to the United States. Over time, living in a new country, you start to forget things. The way your friends joke with each other. Family dinners. Hospitality, even from strangers. It’s the little things too: the pace of the lifestyle, the taste of the food.
We’ve spent three months in Mexico trying to absorb and capture this vibrant culture as well as we can. It has been really important to me to capture the essence of this place because that essence is a vital part of who I am. Recently, however, one city resonated with me in a completely different manner. It was definitely Mexican, but reminded me a lot of the life I’ve left behind in Austin.
Guadalajara. It was a Sunday and everywhere I looked there were people. Once a month, the city closes the main avenues through the Centro and thousands of people come out to enjoy them. Pretty soon we were part of the crowd, all around us people riding bicycles, rollerblading, walking dogs and cats, or just strolling along. Being a part of it was invigorating. So many people all doing different things and yet in doing so they became one. A million moving parts becoming a community, working together, enjoying one another. I found myself wishing I was not a fleeting nomad, but rather a solid part of this energetic and vibrant community.
I’ve been focusing so much on what makes Mexico unique, I had lost sight of what made Austin, and my life in it, so special. To find those same feelings a thousand miles and a lifetime of experiences away caught me off guard. I thought of all the Sundays back in Austin spent tapping into similar sources of communal energy: Barton Springs, Zilker Park, Town Lake. I didn’t expect to find a Mexican city so similar. It made me a little homesick. It made me excited to find other places with such active citizens and so much energy.
I don’t know if cities like Austin and Guadalajara attract active people or if the city itself inspires people to get out and enjoy themselves; I’m sure it’s a little of both. I was compelled to think that the city has to have an influence on the people that live there. But at the same time, it felt like the people of Guadalajara had an undeniable urge to do things, to help and create. I still don’t totally understand where the energy comes from, but it definitely affected me. I am so grateful to have been able to take part in its energy and inspiration.
Edited by Thomas Allison, Photos by Ricardo Palomares