Mexico stories for kids
Flying alone for the first time can be frightening. I crossed my fingers hoping the window seat would be available. Before I stepped on the plane, I patted the outside of the plane door because I heard it was good luck. Almost every year I go on vacation and this summer, I was spending time in Mexico where my parents grew up.
I started to get that weird feeling in my stomach like I always did during take-off, but it was over almost as soon as it began. When I looked out the window next, I could see Aeropuerto Zacatecas. I had landed—let the adventure begin.
I spotted my uncle scanning the airport looking for me, and my aunt pulled out her phone to start recording me. After claiming my luggage, we left the airport and stopped off for some lunch. My windows were rolled down and the aroma of tacos followed us everywhere. I was hungrier than I thought.
“We are happy you have come to visit us, mija,” my uncle told me, a broad smile lighting up his face.
“Me too, tio. I am so happy to be here,” I replied, returning his grin.
On every corner, street vendors peddled their authentic tacos and burritos; so many places to choose from. I asked for green salsa with mine—what’s Mexican food without a little spice?
Getting back on the road, all I could feel was a building excitement with every new bump in the road—and there were plenty. Families were working hard in the fields and I could imagine how sore their backs must be, aching from all the bending and picking. We passed rows of prickly cacti (nopales in Spanish), each bearing a small fruit that reminded me of kiwi.
Mexico stories for kids
“What is that growing on the nopal, tio?” I asked my uncle.
“They’re called tunas, mija—prickly pears in English,” My uncle replied. They are a juicy fruit that grows on the nopal. I dreamed about all the delicious food I would be enjoying while I was here.
Both of my parents came from a rough neighborhood. When people think of Mexico, they imagine a beach with beautiful sunsets, but the realities of everyday life do not reflect what you see in a travel brochure. Each time I visit here, I learn a bit more about their life and I appreciate everything I have. I’m grateful to my parents for the life they have given me.
I stepped out of the vehicle and, before I had a chance to cover my face, dirt blew right into my eyes. I blinked, feeling the small particles of debris like glass in my eye. Dust storms are common in Mexico. Nicely paved roads and grass are nowhere to be seen here in this small town—just dirt and rocks as far as the eye can see (or not, when you’ve got dirt in your eye).
I heard a loud stomping and I ran to the other side of the car, breathing in a rather unpleasant smell. A herd of cows were standing in the middle of the road, another common sight here in Mexico. Every family owns a business with land or animals, and that is how most make a living. The women help to run the business or stay home, cleaning the house and making meals for when the men come home, tired and hungry from working the fields.
During my stay, I was awakened every morning by either roosters or the detergent man with his music turned all the way up. Here people work as drivers, delivering household supplies all around town, such as soap, detergent, and tortillas. They also pick up recyclables.
Every Tuesday, my friends and I would go to a market at the community garden. Vendors would set up their wares, selling everything from toys to fruit, and everything in between. This is where people buy their food and other day-to-day necessities.
One time, my friends and I decided to ride motorcycles to a nearby town. As I sat in the passenger’s seat, we made our way down the long, dirt road. I could feel the flies colliding with my face, and my long, thin hair was whipping hard behind me. No one warned me for what was about to happen. We came to a stop and I jumped off the motorcycle, reaching up to explore the tangled mess sitting atop my head.
“Mi pelo!” I exclaimed. My hair was in knots. In that moment, all I wanted was to burst into tears and soak my hair in conditioner for the next three weeks. Each day I had to be prepared for a new adventure and I learned a lot during my time in Mexico. I now know to wear sunglasses in case of a passing dust storm; and to keep my hair up while riding a motorcycle.
The days flew by and it was as if time did not exist, but all good things must come to an end. I was sad when it was time to leave Mexico—it was an experience I will never forget, filled with so many wonderful memories. Fortunately, adventure is everywhere, and I’m already looking forward to the next one!
This story is part of a new series launching in 2023, called Big Writers, Little Ears. It will feature real and make-believe stories written by big kids, just for you—our younger listeners. Learn more »