“A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

As I look over the articles we have for you this month, I’m feeling inspired by the hard work that people do every day. They may not have thought about it this way, but President Roosevelt summed it up very nicely.

The women who cut and gather the firewood in Yucatán (“Mujeres Leñadoras”, page 4) inspire me because they do the same work day in and day out; and the fruits of their labor are essential to so many aspects of daily life in the pueblo. Without firewood there is no hot water for bathing, no fire to cook the meal, no way to prepare fresh tortillas. When you read this article I think you, too, will be full of admiration.

I am also inspired by the storytellers. In Yucatán, the Maya people, just like people everywhere, keep the past alive by passing the stories down from one generation to the next. Our article on page 9 about the oral tradition reminded me of the fables and legends I heard as a child, collected by my mother and told to me in her own voice.

And let’s not forget about the entrepreneurs who surround us in Mérida. On page 14 you will meet Connie Leal, a woman who operates an eco-tourism company and stays true to her dream. On page 35 you will read about contemporary Mexican cuisine, and when you go try the food at those places, perhaps you, too, will stop and think what an incredible undertaking – and risk – it is to open a restaurant. Not an easy task.

I hope you will find as much inspiration in this edition as I have: from the woman who gathers wood for her family…to the storytellers all around us…to the people who open new businesses every day: I take my hat off to you.

By Juanita Stein
Editorial Director
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