A Caribbean sun sets on our time in Mexico, and it's amazing how fast a month has passed.
We are in Xcalak, the last town before Belize. It's fitting that we are with Steamboat families Marty and Vickie Rosenzweig and Sue and Rob MacCarthy.
Camino a la Copa
Camino a la Copa is a group taking a five-month journey from Steamboat Springs to Brazil for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Read more columns here, and visit www.caminoalacopa.com for more information.
They are friends of my parents, and I grew up with their kids. They feel like family to me. And in fact, in our trip across Mexico, we stayed only with families of people who live in Steamboat. It is amazing how far the “Steamboat family” extends, and how warmly we were received in every place.
A few nights ago, Brian sat under a lightpost surrounded by 15 members of the Izquierdo family, as they beckoned him to keep playing songs on his guitar. They liked them even though they were in English.
This neighborhood didn't have street signs or reliable running water, but it was filled with the love of family, spirited games of baseball and soccer and delicious foods including cow head tacos and pickled pig feet.
We know the Izquierdo family from Steamboat, where they work each summer with Windemere through a seasonal visa program.
A few days before that, in the tiny mountain hamlet of Platanillo, Oaxaca, we drank freshly grown and roasted coffee before putting on a soccer clinic for the high school.
When we got home after school, we found that 11-year-old Chofito had decided to slaughter his pig for us. I called his father, 3,000 miles away in Steamboat, to make sure that was OK.
“He is so happy you are there,” his father said. “We are all so happy you are able to be there. Enjoy the pig.”
Before that, it was family of Steamboat residents in Jalisco. Before that, family of Steamboat residents in Aguascalientes.
During this month in Mexico, we have slept in a hotel just once, and every other night we have been graciously welcomed into the amazing Integrated Community that is all connected to Steamboat Springs.
Whenever we have to leave a town, we hear: “Tienen que quedarse mas tiempo” or "You must stay longer." We cannot stay, because we have soccer clinics scheduled down the road, and we have a World Cup to get to. But we often can lend a hopeful farewell: “See you in Steamboat!”
We would not have made it this far without the love and support from our Steamboat family, and for that we want to say a big thank you! Gracias!