Just add alcohol

I just read a magazine article about booze wagons. We’ve had food trucks as the hip thing for years but now you can get cocktails from a wheeled vehicle.  I think I”ve even seen one at a festival.  It reminds me of Alvaro. He was ahead of his time and an entrepreneur in Mexico.

I’ve added my Mexico story here in this blog, but in case you didn’t read it, I was in a super rural part as a community organizer. The other organizer and I had the brilliant idea to hold a Halloween party. We told everyone about it.  I didn’t realize that all that publicity gave Alvaro time to drive 8 hours to the big city, fill his pick up truck with beer and sell it at our party.  

We were so far from stores and without electricity that things like sweets and beer were consumed right away so having a beer truck was a real treat at the Halloween party for the guests. Not for us the hosts. We were supposed to help keep the community together. With the alcohol old tensions came bubbling up.  I was ignorant of the truck (hidden behind a tree in the dark) and the drama until the next day but I was horrified. 

It was a cold night so some young men started a fire which angered the village elder who plants that old tree. It almost came to fists.  That’s not as bad as all the guns that were up there and at another big party (a wedding) with Alvaro’s beer truck many were shot in the air in joy and worried the American pastor that was officiating there.

The next day I also heard of more tensions. My toothpaste was missing and one woman blamed a young woman from another village. Swore up and down she was a thief. I found it a month later – it had fallen behind the mirror when we were moving things around to make a dance floor in my cabin.

I loved living in that village and was hoping cohousing would recreate that. I thought rumors and fist fights and guns wouldn’t happen since we had a conflict management system. I was naive. I had no idea that that committee is the least used and understood. Some coho communities get it and focus on many ways to nurture each other in good times and bad. Others just have simmering tensions and a more superficial atmosphere. So those groups need to be careful, the beer wagon could pull up and those tension coils could spring out of control. 

About CJ

I was a Spanish teacher for 5 years in the Public School system in 3 different states. I homeschooled and taught at a democratic free school. I heard about cohousing in 2010 and wanted to move in right away. I met a group building one in 2018 and got to move in the summer of 2019. It only took a year to want out.
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