I was a child when I moved to Mexico with my family. My first memory is traveling by car and being mesmerised by the neon signs as they changed colours. Like all my memories of Mexico it is colour that is present in all of them. With my family I travelled a lot, to different places, to the coast, and into the country. What I enjoyed most was when we went camping the simplicity of setting up our tents near the home of a fisherman on a beach as there were no hotels, while his wife prepared us a delicious fish with tortillas. The fisherman took us in his little boat for a ride into uncharted territory, where the sea was so clear that sometimes I could not understand how the sea and sand met so perfectly like an unseen seam on a garment of clothing. I would spend my time watching thousands of fishes of the most incredible and intense colours darting to and fro, that would have an artist wishing for this amazing array of colours on their palette.
Travel was always an adventure. Sometimes we would travel out just on a whim to towns that we liked the name of, other times going to places of interest, but always, we found the local woman dressed in beautifully made suits, while their indigenous hands would be creating some wonderful hand crafted object, using clay, wood or any material that nature had given them to work with, but always, like their dresses, an explosion of colours perfectly combined. Sitting at the table was also an adventure. The variety of food, the different flavours mixed with various shades, served in dishes that had been made by the owner happily awakened us on our very curious discovery. Everything here invited a photographer, professional or not, to take pictures that were there waiting to be captured, or an image to be saved in our memory. We came back to Chile on a spring day and discovered the colour in a different manner, the trees were covered with flowers and the streets filled with their aroma. I think what surprised me most was to see such marked changes from one season to another, which did not happen in Mexico. I was fascinated to see that after the intense heat of summer, the leaves of the trees were beginning to take amazing hues of ocher, yellow and red, and when finally the leaves left the trees, carpeting the streets, I enjoyed listening to the sound that the freshly fallen leaves made when I walked over them. Looking back, I thought it was really impossible for those naked trees at that time of the year, to rebirth into the same green trees that I had taken shade under to avoid the summer sun. Now the cold was making my cheeks red a contrast of the seasons. I have visited other countries, but I like the contrast between Chile and Mexico, being so similar in some ways are so extremely different in others. I realised that every place has its colours, smells and flavours, but you have to keep all senses on alert to discover the beauty that comes in many shapes and forms. We keep them in our memories like a photo album we can recall when we need it, picking the bits that remain important to us. Just close your eyes and remember. WRITTEN BY PAULA GARCÍA BALTIANSKY