Violeta with her cousin, Eriberto.

When I was living in Mexico, a typical day for a woman would be to wake up at 5 am to wash dishes (if they had not been done the night before). Then she would sweep the floors, grind the cooked corn and make tortillas. She would cook breakfast, and feed the animals. She had to carry water from the well to the home, and wash dishes again. She would cook lunch, wash the dishes, and bring lunch to her husband and children, who were doing chores in the mountains. In the afternoon, she would gather dry wood and carry it back home, cook dinner and feed her family. At the end of the day she would go retrieve more water from the well, wash dishes, and go to sleep.

A man would get up later than a woman. He would milk the goats, and eat breakfast when it was ready. Then, he would let the goats out to the pasture in the mountains, and stay there until the end of the day. When he came back, he would eat dinner and go to sleep.  There were exceptions to this model.  For example, my grandfather would help my grandmother carry the water from the well to the house. He would also cook and do many things that were expected of a woman, but not of a man.  In my case, since my father was not with us, I was the one in charge of milking the goats.


Violeta in Mexico completing an internship (2004).

Guanajuato has changed a lot. There are roads and electricity. They still don’t have running water, but things are much better; especially when it comes to females and what they are allowed to do. Now women are basically allowed to do anything. When I lived there, we were required to wear dresses all the time, and they had to be below your knees. You would be fully covered. The V-neck sweater I’m wearing right now would be too revealing. Necklines would be up to your collarbone and sleeves past your elbow. Today you will see women wear really tight pants, spaghetti strap shirts, a lot of makeup and hair coloring; all of which you didn’t see before. It’s very different than when I was there, which is good.