Walking across Mexico City
"Walking Stories: Mexico City" starts April 21st in the heart of Mexico City on Avenida de los Insurgentes, "the longest avenue in the world". I plan to walk all 29 kilometers, every other day until I finish. My walking partners will be whoever I encounter on the street who is willing to accompany me and tell their story. On alternate days, the stories will be posted here in both Spanish and English. For practical purposes, the accompanying photos and professional translations will be added once a week.
The first stories will be posted on April 22nd. This project is meant to be a dialog, both in person and online. So please feel free to comment on the stories or share your own on the "Community Stories" page.
I am excited and nervous. Excited because I am certain to hear the most amazing stories and will have the chance to share the humble, human, intimate act of walking with someone. Nervous because I am intimidated by the idea of approaching strangers on the street and asking them in my bad Spanish to walk with me and tell me a story.
However, Mexico City is a perfect place for this project. Street life is almost as important a part of Mexican culture as home life. The two blend together until it's hard to tell the difference. From street vendors to impromptu concerts, from shamans performing rituals to the old women selling gum in the metro, every need from the most basic to the bizarre can be satisfied on the streets of Mexico City.
So, no one will be surprised to be approached on the street by someone with a proposition. Of course, being asked to share their story with a tall foreign woman might be a little out of the ordinary. I am not sure what the reactions will be or if people will be willing to participate. I will literally be relying on the kindness of strangers. But that is the heart of this project, I have come across the border to Mexico, not just to hear stories, but to trust my neighbors.
Excited and Nervous,
Visit Laura's website at http://www.walkingstoriesmexico.com/ to read her stories of conversations with the people of Mexico City - and how she is having to change her plans because of the onset of swine flu.< Back to Mexico page for links to other stories