Mexican Men who Abandon their Families: Households As Border Zones In Mexico City

How to Cite

Guttman, M. (2005). Mexican Men who Abandon their Families: Households As Border Zones In Mexico City. Estudios Interdisciplinarios De América Latina Y El Caribe, 16(1). Retrieved from


In early January 1997, I was standing outside a corner tienda [shop], in my Mexico City neighborhood of Colonia Santo Domingo, sipping Coronas with my friends Marcelo and Marcial to celebrate the New Year. A third friend, Marcos, who lived next door to the tienda, stopped by. Having just been on a family vacation to Yucatán and taken a forty-eight-hour bus ride to return to Mexico City, he was tanned and exhausted, and he couldn’t wait to tell us, especially Marcial who was originally from Yucatán, about the trip. Two things stood out in his mind as highlights of the journey: the archaeological ruins he had seen at Chichen Itza, and the topless beaches he had visited on Isla Mujeres. Just as Marcos was beginning to describe the details of each encounter, a little boy walked up to him and asked for some coins to buy candy in the tienda. I looked at the boy, who was then about three years old, and asked him his name. He looked me in the eye and replied that it was Ruvaalcaba. Ruvaalcaba, I knew, was Marcos's last name, too. Marcos prompted him to give his first name. "Marco Antonio," the child responded. Marcos immediately asked, " ¿Y cómo se llama tu padre? [And what's your father's name?]", to which the child answered matter-of-factly, "Abuelito [Granddad]," whereupon a huge grin appeared on Marcos’s face.

Copyright © 2012-2013 Estudios Interdisciplinarios de América Latina y el Caribe.
ISSN 0792-7061
Editores:  Ori Preuss; Nahuel Ribke
Instituto Sverdlin de Historia y Cultura de América Latina, Escuela de Historia
Universidad de Tel Aviv, Ramat Aviv,
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