Taking the plunge, body and soul

Being born into a Mexican family, we face many traditions that help shape the person we are, and want to become in life. These traditions have become for many a part of our life.

Some traditions are like putting a red bracelet on a newborn to warn off all “mal de ojo” (bad eye), rubbing an egg all over your body helps cure an illness, and putting salt (if dropped) in a bowl of water to make the bad luck go away.

Not all Mexican traditions are tied to superstitions, some are more about growing spiritually and as a woman. For example, Quinceaneras, Baptisms, First Communions, and Confirmations are all traditional customs within our Mexican culture.

In my case, I didn’t have a Quinceanera; which for many teenage girls would suck. At first I was into the whole Quinceanera thing, but then I realized that it was just going to be one day. My dad made me realize it wasn’t necessary to spend a lot of money for just one day when you can save that money you would have put on the Quinceanera and save it for future things, like college.

Now, my dad wasn’t that into a Quinceanera party, but when religious purposes are involved he is a lot more strict and wants us to take God serious. I think I speak for all, when I say that in most Mexican families our religion is what sets up the traditions we do. This fits my case since I am a Catholic, and if you are a Catholic living under a Mexican roof, you most definitely have to get all your sacraments done: baptism, first communion, and confirmation.

Doing my first two sacraments, Baptism and First Communion in Mexico this past September, was somewhat tough. My dad decided to take us to Mexico to get my Sacraments done for two reasons: one, all the godfathers they chose for me were in Mexico. Secondly, my dad thought       getting a sacrament in Mexico was easier in the way that they wouldn’t ask for much. Yeah right!

I experienced how Mexico is when it comes to having sacraments done and let me tell you, they are really strict, especially with people coming from the U.S. to Mexico to have them done.

The church from my town in Mexico has many rules. The church asked for a lot, a little too much in my opinion, when it comes to having a sacrament done. First, they asked that when you look for your godfathers that they must be married through the Catholic church and be a Catholic themselves. Secondly, they said the parents and the godfathers needed to go to adult catechism themselves for two weeks. After the adult catechism finished, the parents or godfathers had to go to the church’s parish and and pay a fee of ten dollars (amount here in U.S.) in order for their children to have the sacrament done, and to top things off, if your child was older than twelve years of age (which I am) then they no longer had the traditional one year of preparation but instead had to take three years.

Now, receiving my first two sacraments came with a price. In my town’s church in Mexico, they only do sacraments in the month of September; something that doesn’t quite add up to a high school student barley starting off the new school year. Going to Mexico while the school year barely began, had me really stressed. I knew when coming back, the amount of catching up I would have to do and I have.

I did miss a lot of school work and I do regret going, since I’ve never had bad grades and just looking at them now is horrible. On the other hand, I don’t regret it because having been able to do both my sacraments, which was an amazing experience both personally and spiritually.