Veracruz…And the Truth About Traveling with 3 Kids

We drove from Teotihuacan to Veracruz with a stop in charming Cholula.

meriah nichols mexico-4Delicious mole poblano, snow-capped Mt “Popo” in the background… we would have stayed longer had accommodation been easier. But no one was at the Cholula campground to open it, and finding hotels to take Kianna was such a major pain the butt that we ended up just sneaking her in.

Veracruz was worse. Far worse.

You know, people that we meet on the road have said all kinds of things to us regarding our bringing our 3 little kids to Mexico. Most of what they say is really nice and makes us feel like rockstars on the alter of parental awesomeness. But we also feel kind of disingenuous smiling at the compliments because really, kids in Mexico is not hard. Sure, they do stuff like poop and you have to butt wipe, but that’s going to happen anywhere. Not a big deal.

meriah nichols mexico-6

Most of the time, having kids here is an asset to us.

Mexicans on the whole love children, the culture here is patient with those small people. Locals smile at our kids and play with them, they commiserate with us, they know what this thing called parenting is all about! Having our kids here opens doors and hearts.

kianna-5-of-15The truly hard thing so far for us in Mexico has been with Kianna.

 

Kianna herself is the most gentle, lovable, smart and well-trained dog you could ever hope to meet. She is easy to have as a companion and a worthy helper as a hearing dog. But access here SUCKS for service dogs, even if they are certified and come with badges, vests, genealogies, licenses and plastic cards (like Kianna does).

Back to Veracruz

We arrived around 2pm and were excited by the vibe. It reminded us so much of Oakland, what with the huge port, the cranes, the older parts of the city. We dug it and wanted to spend some time getting to know the place.

But then Mikey spent literally 2 hours going around and trying to get a hotel room in the center. It was nuts – there were easily at least 3 hotels on each side of a block – and yet the only one that accepted Kianna was one without parking. The public parking structure there was a nightmare with our rig. After a meter maid dinged Mikey for not paying for two separate street parking spots (- even though we only physically occupied the one spot we paid for) and Mikey had to run over to the court to pay the fine, we thought it was a SIGN FROM GOD and split.

We stopped for a bite to eat and then tried to find a campground.

By then it was dark and I didn’t like that. We drove on and on – it sure is far from the main town – and finally found it. A total rip off at 350 pesos (about $25) with no toilets, wifi, showers or amenities – just boondocking.

meriah nichols mexico-2
fancy pots. nothing to piss in. 350 PESOS!

 

Insult to injury? Their yipping dogs would NOT QUIT…and worse, they had us park next to a fenced off playground. Try telling your 2 and 4 year old that they can’t play in the playground that’s RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM.

meriah nichols mexico-3

And so.

Veracruz was a no-go. We just forged on ahead.

meriah nichols mexico

Meriah
Meriah Nichols is teacher and artist who lives in a yurt off the grid. She is deaf, has 3 kids (one with Down syndrome) and a lot of chickens. She writes about travel, disability, and getting dishes done. She likes her tea Earl Grey and hot.
Meriah

@meriahnichols

#deaf mom, teacher & #disability activist, living in a yurt #offthegrid. 3 kids (1 with #downsyndrome), a camera and a lot of chickens. Never a dull moment
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13 Comments

  • I am sorry that your stay in Veracruz has been so bad, but it’s true. That same suffering who live here. I think it is best to leave the city and go to the small coastal towns where people treat you wonderfully, with great warmth and without prejudice. It is the way of being Jarocho. Good trip and keep safe. 🙂

    • thank you for the kind words – I don’t mean to imply that Veracruz is not a good place – it looked really interesting and the people that we interacted with were very nice (- with the exception of the campground!). It was just a series of unfortunate events and people are not used to service dogs yet.

  • Jarochos are very friendly. I’m surprised of your experiance. If you ever go back? There is a nice little town call jalcomulco. You can allso visit antigua (where cortés landed) tajin and… cant remember the name but it has historical meaning.

    Hope to keep reading your adventures

  • I am looking up info for what the current safety situation is in the veracruz area. My husband is from there and we want to see his family but they have all told us to stay away. Even my husband, who fears very little now refuses to take our kids back to his country. I have many friends from different regions that are experiencing horror beyond what I can describe. All of my native contacts tell me to avoid bringing the kids except for some of the tourist areas. Which for me, i’m not into the tourist attractions so that is useless. I would love to take the kids for this experience but my logic has to kick in. I pray things get better for this beautiful country and it’s people.

    • Hi – you know, I never know what to say with these kinds of comments… we never felt unsafe in Mexico. For this trip, we went from Nogales to the Belize border, then through Chiapas to the border of Guatemala, and back up through the NM border. But I don’t know if it’s just us, if it’s the fact that we lived in Oakland for a long time, or what? We don’t freak out easily. But we also walk carefully. I don’t know if that makes sense.
      In the end, I guess we all just need to go with what feels right to us? I hope you get to go though; it seems like it would be a wonderful experience for you and your kids

  • Yeah definitely. It’s up to you to decide what’s best for your family. I think I will probably try to do some medical volunteer work solo in the region and see what the current climate is before I commit to bringing the kids. We are from the metro detroit area…not much phases us anymore either!! I have to tell you though when you talk about finding it hard to bring the dog along….my husband likes pets well enough but is adamant they stay OUTSIDE haha. But, you are right about how kid friendly people of mexico are. That’s how it should be here but unfortunately kids are becoming something to be seen and not heard…..part of the reason I value and envy what my kids are missing out on! Thanks I am enjoying your stories, safe travels!

    • WOW – I would honestly assume that metro Detroit area would be ample preparation for anything. ANYTHING!!! But that sounds like a great plan, to visit on your own and test the water…

      (by the way, Detroit is totally on our bucket list of places we want to visit in the US!)

      • They are doing some serious renovations downtown. It’s in the midst of a total transformation.. you won’t be disappointed. Ann arbor is really cool too 😉

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