I haven´t been this excited about sharing news in a while. And that´s a huge statement considering the last two and a half years since Roxana and I launched SpanglishBaby have been blessed with partnerships, opportunities and a community that went beyond our expectations.
A month ago I received a phone call that I know will be life-changing: I was invited to be one of 24 Ambassadors for the México Today Program–a public and private initiative which is officially launching this week in Oaxaca, México.
I´m sure I should have been a bit more professional, but there´s no way to make a squeal sound pro. I know, it just came out solito and there was no way to hide my excitement. Immediately and without hesitation I said “¡Claro que sí! ¿A donde firmo?”
What I have signed up for is to be one of 8 Community Managers which will work with a group of 16 Contributors, all México enthusiasts, to share the positive stories from our México lindo y querido.
Yes, there´s no denying that México is hurting right now with so much violence and atrocities that are happening in some areas, but there is so much more light to counteract that darkness and we need to collectively focus on that to start the healing.
For those that don´t know, I am not Mexican (born in Houston, raised in El Salvador), but please don´t tell my Soul that.
I was living a very comfy and fun life in South Beach, FL working for Univision and mingling with the estrellas. After my first work-related trip to Mexico City, back in 1998, I immediately felt I belonged in that magical, crazy, chaotic, full of contradictions, reality-slaps-you-in-the-face city. A year later, I had packed my bags and moved there all by myself. At 29. With 25 million people surrounding me, no GPS to guide me through its crazy streets and Periférico and only a beeper and a laptop to keep me in touch. Yes, a beeper…remember those?
During the six years I lived in México (one of them in Playa del Carmen) I grew, fell, hit rock bottom, found my spiritual self, grew and fell some more and then found my husband. Call it Eat, Pray, Love all in one country.
I also got to travel to many regions, cities, beaches, archeological sites and was fascinated by them all. Places like Chiapas, Veracruz, Querétaro, San Miguel de Allende, Tepoztlán, Acapulco, Veracruz, Tamaulipas, Mérida, Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, Tijuana, Monterrey, Guadalajara, Puerto Escondido, Mazunte, Huatulco, Cuernavaca, León, and my favorite places of all–Oaxaca city and the Riviera Maya.
Going back to the first México Today phone call, my squeal converted into a scream when they told me I had to travel to the kick-off event in Oaxaca as one of my duties as an Ambassador. Are you kidding me? I´ve been there five times, but haven´t been back in 8 years and have been itching and threatening to go soon.
So, here I am sharing this story with you just hours away from jumping on a plane that will take me to Oaxaca to officially become an enthusiastic voice for México.
Among other topics, I plan on sharing all the amazing experiences that can be had as a family in México. Our next door neighbor, and the cradle of heritage for most of us in this country, is an infinite source of language and culture for our kids. No better way to infuse in them a passion for who they are than to immerse them in this ancient, rich and cosmopolitan nation. I hope my and my family´s experiences will enrich your ideas and motivate you to explore and share.
I invite you to Like the Mexico Today community on Facebook and follow along on Twitter to get to know the 24 Ambassadors and read beautiful México stories. Among the Ambassadors you will find some longtime SpanglishBaby friends: The Other Side of the Tortilla, Mamá Latina Tips and A Canuck in Cancún.
Marca País – Imagen de México, is a joint public and private sector initiative designed to help promote Mexico as a global business partner and an unrivaled tourist destination. This program is designed to shine a light on the Mexico that its people experience every day.
Disclosure: I am being compensated for my work in creating and managing content as a Community Manager for the México Today Program. I am also being invited to an all-expenses paid trip to Oaxaca as part of my role. All stories, opinions and passion for all things México shared here are completely my own.
After reading your post I feel even worse about not being able to make it to Oaxaca. I’ll be at a family reunion to celebrate my 86-year old mother’s return from 2 years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco. I hope we get to meet on another occasion.
Do you ever get to Mexico City?
Saludos, Jim J.
Jim, I´m so sorry we won´t get to meet and experience Oaxaca together. You do have an amazing excuse, though! 86 and a Peace Corps volunteer? Wow…now those are footsteps to follow.
We were just in Mexico City last December and are craving to go back. Will let you know if I do!
Congratulations Ana! What a great an exiciting venture to embark on!!
You can write that again! Yes..an adventure of a lifetime it is. Thanks, Sue!!
Great post Ana! I can’t wait to learn about Mexico from you! Your energy, passion and knowledge will help make this campaign a success! Lo se!!!
Thanks, Marcela. Your words mean a lot. I promise to share puras cosas buenas y reales!
Yay!!! Felicidades! Can’t wait to read more…
Un abrazo fuerte!
Gracias, Monica! I can´t wait to write more! We officially kick it off this week, so a lot more is coming.
Un abrazo a ti!
I love this post! You know, every time you write I discover more things about you I didn’t know, like you went to Mexico all by yourself! If you had told me before I forgot I also have a terrible memory.
One of the things I like the most in what you said is that you brought Oaxaca back to you! That is true! How inspiring amiga! Mucho éxito and I’m already anxious to hear even more about Mexico from you
Dari! In many ways Mexico also brought you and I together. It still amazes me that we were there at the same time and our paths didn´t cross until we were both in LA.
And, yes, terrible memory, amiga! Jajaja! Yo soy peor, ni te preocupes
I have been eyeing a trip to Mexico for an entire year. I can’t wait to read about the best places to go and all of the sights to see.
I am so happy for you. This is one of those full circle moments.
Yes, Jennifer, it definitely feels like a full circle moment.
I will help you out anytime to plan an unforgettable trip to México with your girls. If you´re getting the Mexico itch, you can´t just ignore it
Have an amazing time in Africa! Can´t wait to read about that one!
When I received my invitation I shared a similar emotion…to me, it was if a dream job was offered to me. Of course I accepted and I am en route to Oaxaca.
For me, it was a year plus calling DF home that made me fall in love with the city, and then the country. I always say the real danger of Mexico – is falling in love with it. I have.
I look forward to meeting you, the group, and also being part of the team of ambassadors. See you Friday.
So excited to be sharing this space with you. You made me smile with your line of the real danger of Mexico is falling in love with it. So, so, so real and too many layers to it.
Truly looking forward to meeting you in Oaxaca. We already share so much in common.
Beautiful post, Ana! I look forward to meeting you in Mexico and am so happy you are part of the program!
Thanks, Kelly. It came from the heart and had a hard time keeping it short. SO much to say.
See you in Oaxaca!
Amiga, I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, can’t think of anyone better to fulfill this role than you! You are more “Mexican” than a lot of Mexicans I know. I’m so proud of you!
I know this will be the beginning of something really great for you and I’m thrilled to see you not only going back to Mexico, but to be able to share your love and passion of this beautiful country with the rest of the world. I know you’ll do a great job and hopefully lots of people will realize that all that they see on the news is not all of Mexico!
I still remember like it was yesterday when you told me you were leaving your awesome life in South Beach behind to seek a new life in Mexico! I thought you were nuts, but you were convinced… and look at you now!
Pro or not, sometimes you have to squeal. Jajaja… I’m so happy for you. What a dream come true!
This post is full of undeniable passion and I loved hearing about what Mexico means to you.
Can’t wait to hear more stories and see photos from your trip.
PS – I won’t tell your soul you aren’t Mexican if you don’t tell mine it isn’t half Mexican, half Salavdoran
wow – felicitaciones! how awesome! you know that I love it (Mexico)… we’ll be coming back in January for 6 months next time!!
you will be a great ambassador…
You are definitely a HUGE advocate for Mexico, its culture and language! So excited for your family and this journey your on in San Miguel de Allende. You´re inspiring me big time!!
Congratulations, Ana. It sounds like a fun opportunity. My only trip to Mexico has been to Cancun and I love it and can’t wait to go there again.
Cancun and the whole Yucatán Peninsula is pure magic and beauty. Will cross fingers for you to go back!
What a beautiful post! I haven’t been to Mexico, but can’t wait to read all about your trip to Oaxaca. Mexico Today hizo muy buena elección al incluirte por que se puede sentir tu pasión y entusiasmo. I know you are bringing good stories, photos and tips. Enjoy the Authentic Mexican Food. Wish you the best!
Absolutely awesome! I can think of a better opportunity out there! I can’t wait to hear the stories and I’m so happy for you! Felicitaciones amiga!!! =)
Squealing is fine… I had to go into my office restroom and do a little dance when I found out!
We need to join my squeal and your little dance. Something great would surely come out of it! Loved meeting you in Oaxaca!
Ana- Do you have a twitter? Would LOVE to follow you!
I do: @laflowers and @spanglishbaby
what´s yours? I´ll follow back!
Having just started a blog ourselves we notice that there is a void out there that Mexico Today and Ambassadors like you can fill. We look forward to heaving your perspective… Mexico is a safe and wonderful place for families to visit and love. Have a great weekend. And… We are with Natalie. We want to follow you on Twitter!
Thanks so much for your kind words. I am thrilled beyond belief to be a part of this and fill any part of that void that I can…Together we can make our voices very loud and shine the light that has never left México.
I am particularly interested in spreading the word about how there are so many amazing and safe places for families in México.
I think we are now very connected via Twitter! #MexicoToday
Amazing!!! I love Mexico!! Can’t wait to hear more, more, y mas, y mas!
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