Interview with Marcella Castellanos

Where are you from?
E.U., California

What brought you to Mexico?
I wanted to come back to my roots. Since I’m Mexican American and I have been in the U.S. all my life, I wanted to come back and find out more about my heritage, understand my lineage, culture and language.

How long have you lived in Mexico? What makes you stay?
I have been here over 3 years and I love it. I have stayed because I live simply and richly with very little in material things. The ocean, sun, dance, music, sense of community, the people and my dog fill my days and make me happy. I am no longer trapped in a wheel of consumerism and it feels great! 

What is Mexico for you?
A beautiful country that values family and culture.

What do you say when you speak about Mexico?
It instantly puts a smile on my face and I say it’s not a perfect country (there are no perfect countries), but it is certainly beautiful and it makes me feel alive!

¿Qué es lo que nos falta entender y/o cambiar como mexicanos?  
The same that other countries and human beings need to realize –that judging others is not good, and that feeling superior to other animals and species is not good for our evolution as better human beings.

Comparado con México, ¿qué es lo mejor y lo peor de tu país?
The best about the U.S. is that there is a lot of opportunity if someone wants to succeed. And shopping! The worst is that oftentimes in the rush to succeed economically; many people have lost many of their values: such as helping each other, stopping to chat with their neighbors, investing in education, respecting their elders, teachers and social service heroes.Also, U.S citizens are too dependent on medication and doctors are too quick to prescribe medication just putting band aids on problems instead of getting to the root cause.

¿Qué es lo que nos falta entender y/o cambiar como mexicanos?
It is fantastic to live in the moment but it also makes sense to plan for your future. Having a balance of both I believe is an ideal way to make sure you’re okay today and tomorrow. I also believe Mexicans, in general don’t respect animals. They see them as a subspecies to do with as they please, I wish this would change. And in general, there is a big reliance on alcohol consumption to have a good time.

Si regresaras a vivir al extranjero, ¿que sería lo que más extrañarías de México?
I would miss the people and the food in restaurants as well as access to locally grown food at affordable prices such as avocados, tomatoes, mangos, papaya, coconut. And because we live at a port, fish and seafood are affordable and plentiful. Living here keeps me eating healthy.

Interview with Marcella Castellanos for Caras de México. Click here to read more interviews examining Mexican identity.