During Semana Santa, generations of families come to our area for their once annual vacation. The Meza, Saldaña, and Escobedo Families from Guadalajara are no exception. They have made Guayabitos their Semana Santa destination tradition for several years. Normally, they camp on the flat stretch of beach in front of our house, but because of the new camping restrictions this year, they stayed at Delia’s Trailer Park on the south end of town instead.
They typically arrive on Friday afternoon. We always know when they’re here, because Yesenia and the other kids stand outside our beach gate and yell our names until we come out to greet them. This year, they arrived on Friday as usual, but didn’t make it down to our end of the beach to say hello until Thursday afternoon.
A few times during the week, David and I head to the beach, pull up a chair, and visit with them. It was a great opportunity for us to catch up on what’s happened to them during the past year, and to practice our Spanish as well. Around 4pm nearly every day, we would haul out the hose to give them showers and wash off all the sand and sunscreen they had accumulated during the day. They would then head back to camp for dinner and to settle in for the night.
On Saturday morning, the last day, the adults would start breaking down their campsite (which literally included everything but the kitchen sink). Like a jigsaw puzzle, they somehow seemed to get all the pieces to fit perfectly into their vehicles with just enough room for themselves and the kids.
(top) The Meza, Saldaña and Escobedo Families. (above) Fernando and Ezequiel; Ruth; Yesenia; Diego and Jorge.
While the adults were busy loading, David and I always let the kids hop in our pool for a few hours. Last year, I think we counted 30-plus kids in the pool at one time. Some of you might think we’re crazy, but it’s been a wonderful and memorable experience (albeit we can’t use the pool for a few days afterward while David gets the chlorine level back up to where it should be).
When the adults are finished packing, they stop by to collect the kids. We’d hug, shed a few tears, and wish them safe travels and a prosperous and healthy year. And they’d be off once again.
This year, the time spent with them was way too short, and the goodbyes came way too soon. God willing, they will return again next year so that we can continue what has become “our” Semana Santa tradition, too.