Author Archives: Alex Mensing

Don Ramón

“They became furious.” To say that “they became furious” falls far short of foreshadowing what the Mara-18 gang did to Don Ramón and his family. But let me introduce you to Don Ramón, because he’s a wonderful man. Don Ramón was born 58 years ago in a small town in Honduras. His father passed away […]


Neza York. Arabronx. Xochihouston. Sound somewhat familiar? Mexicans have an affinity for wordplay. They mix and mash their words up, they make lots of puns, and they have a very, ahem, rich tradition of albures, or double-entendres. Of course, for a word or a concept to enter Mexican wordplay with any degree of efficacy, it […]

We Need More Information to Migrate to the USA from Mexico.

“Extremely difficult.” That’s how a member of Mexico’s Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity described last year’s caravan through the USA. Why? Because unlike in Mexico where the whole country has faced the repercussions of the drug war’s violence in one way or another, the population that the caravan encountered in the USA was […]

The “Nescafe” Bean

This post is about a bean that my friend gave me. It’s known by people in Chiapas as the “Nescafe Bean.” Chiapas is a coffee-producing region, growing lots of the delicious stuff that the lucky few drink at our favorite cafés. But people there don’t drink that. Most of the coffee I’ve had in Mexico […]


I took this picture from a bus, in the southern outskirts of Mexico City. About 22 million people live in the metropolitan area of Mexico City. The population of the Federal District itself (what we think of as Mexico City proper) is about 9 million, but it swells to 13 million on a daily basis with […]

Faro Tláhuac

I recently stumbled into a community center in Mexico City that really impressed me. I was spending the day with a friend who has a solar panel installation company and who is developing an organization that promotes sustainability by offering training, advice and installation of renewable energy technology. It will also conduct research and development […]

Hotel Migrante

It was just past midnight when the plane landed. Mario and I had been waiting for over an hour, and finally we could see a line forming inside the Mexican immigration office. I watched as the recent arrivals, mostly young men, had their pictures taken and received a piece of paper. Official documentation in hand, the […]