Querido Michoacan,

Michoacan is a state in Mexico located in the central west coast. Also my home state. Growing up in Michoacan was a very care-free childhood. I feel like I got the best of both worlds getting to grow up in Mexico and the United States. Every time I go to Mexico I am always reminded of why I love my home so much.

I would love to share a bit of our culture, food and some of my favorite places. I will be visiting again soon and will be back with some more things to share.

Michoacan is home of the Purepecha people. If you go anywhere in the state you will find traces of the culture. The pictures above are from Tarecuato, Michoacan in a restaurant called “La Kumanchikua”. It is right in the middle of the forrest and they have outdoor seating. You get to eat fresh food, tortillas, delicious cafe de olla and breathe in crisp and fresh air.

In the picture above we have guisados and cafe de olla. Guisados are very popular in all of Mexico and are very typical in Michoacan. Guisados are eaten with tortillas and made into tacos. Guisado means stew and they are cooked in clay pots. When you get to the restaurant you get to pick which guisados you want and they will be refilling your tortillas as they come out fresh. Now paired perfectly with Cafe de Olla. Also made in a clay pot this coffee get sweetened with piloncillo (brown sugar in a cone shape) and extra flavor with cinnamon sticks. This is the perfect combination for the typically cold weather here.

Our culture is very warm and family oriented. Families are big and close. Growing up my grandmother’s kitchen was always full of kids and there was always something good to eat. She doesn’t have a luxurious kitchen but a lot of my best memories are eating beans and rice with my cousins on her table.

Growing up my town has really developed, not a city but definitely getting there. One thing that makes me happy is that I still see that people try their best to keep traditions alive. Different towns in the state have their own Saint and every year they hold a festival in their honor.

Patzcuaro and Janitzio are a great place to visit to have a good time and also get a good idea of the culture. Not only is it beautiful but they do the Day of the Dead Festival. I would love to visit during that time. Many people stay in Patzcuaro, the main town. There are many different hotels for all kinds of budgets and very nice ones. The nicest ones being about 100 dollars a night. From Patzcuaro you take a short boat ride to the island. In the island on any regular visit you will do a lot of walking. You walk up many steep steps to get to the top of the island. On the way up there you will see many merchants selling anything from candy to beautiful hand stitched blouses and dresses. There are also many food stands and restaurants. There are a few hotels on the island but i would only recommend staying there if you are actually going for the Day of the Dead celebration. Other than that there is no night life and businesses close early because on regular days the boats stop bringing people to the island in the early evening.

Growing up in Mexico was very simple. Reminiscing really makes me appreciate everything. Whenever I go back talking with all the cousins I grew up with, eating in my grandmother’s kitchen and walking the streets makes my heart feel full. Now that I am getting older I feel that I don’t cherish these moments as much. Realizing how happy I was when I didn’t have much makes me want to live more simply. I don’t need all the luxuries to live a full-filling life and I feel it is very easy to forget that. I want to learn to cook and find ways to keep my traditions alive even though I am 2000 miles away.

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