One of my favorite places to go in Mexico is to the park on a Sunday afternoon. You see all kinds of people there doing all sorts of “typical” mexican park activities … eating, playing, laughing, relaxing, doing absolutely nothing …

A bite to eat

A bite to eat

I first discovered the Latino Love for the park back in the US when I used to teach classes of English as a Second Language to groups of Latinos. During our classes on Monday nights I would get them to speak the few words of English they knew by asking them what they did over the weekend. Week after week, the response was always “I go park .” My goal was to get them to say went instead of go. Even after 8 weeks most continued to say go. oh well. at least they knew the word for park!

Going the Distance, Going for Speed ...

Going the Distance, Going for Speed ...

And I learned that the park is a comfortable outdoors space where even people without resources to have a yard can go and enjoy the feeling of having some personal green space. In Mexico, the typical use of the park is for picnics, and families tend to spend a good portion of the day relaxing, eating, talking and laughing, playing games and enjoying the sunny afternoon outside together.

Kids fascinated by the life-sized Toy Soldier

Kids fascinated by the life-sized Toy Soldier

But in Mexico the whole concept of a park comes a little closer to a “theme park,” as we say in the US. With clowns, toys, ice cream, remote-control boats, electric mini cars for rent, super-developed play areas for kids, and more, the basic green space urban park is transformed into a verifiable fun house for kids and families. Add a big bottle of Coca-cola, some chicken, tortillas and salsa, and you have the recipe for a Sunday of relaxing family fun!

Ice Cream in the Park

Ice Cream in the Park

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