Daily Life

We’ve been in Querétaro since the beginning of September and are getting settled in. We’re living with different host families so that Julie can get as much Spanish conversation as possible. Her host family consists of Carmen, a women about Julie’s age, her adult son (it’s common for unmarried children to live with their parents), and two young Mexican women who are students at the university in Querétaro and rent rooms in the house. Julie lives about a ten minute walk away.

Charlie’s host family includes parents Guadalupe (Lupita) and Antonio and their 13 year-old son Juan Pablo. He was named after the pope who was in office at the time of his birth because Lupita had a difficult pregnancy with him and was told at the time that her unborn child was possibly brain damaged and that she should abort her pregnancy. Her catholic beliefs made that impossible, so instead she prayed for a healthy child. The boy was born normal and healthy, so she gave thanks for the boy’s well being by naming him as she did. The couple also has three grown children who live in the area with their own families. Some of their five grandchildren visit during the week after school and on weekends, so there is always a lot of activity in the house.

Although American tourists are always worried about the water in Mexico, it is not much of a concern once you’re here. In Querétaro, all homes have large (about five gallon) bottles of water for drinking, the kind you often see in offices in the U.S. However, the tap water is of good quality and there’s no problem, for example, rinsing your toothbrush with it. Fruits and vegetables with hard skins are washed with tap water and liquid dish soap before eating and are perfectly safe. Lettuce, grapes and other similar items have to be soaked for about 10 minutes in tap water in an iodine solution, which leaves no taste behind, before eating. We have had many salads in local restaurants and they were fine. A PC volunteer in Monterrey, in northern Mexico, drinks water from the tap and has had no problems at all.


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