About Us: Our Family of Blogs

In August 2008 Reed and Jane Brundage retired from professional careers in the United States—Reed as a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst, Jane as a corporate training consultant. That same month we moved to Pátzcuaro, Michoacán, México. Our original intent was to interweave our lives as much as possible with the culture and daily life of present-day Mexico by learning Spanish and making Mexican friends.

As our Spanish improved and we came to know more of the Pátzucaro community and people, we were slowly awakened to how extensively the power of the U.S. is interwoven not only with the economic and political life of Mexico, but with the daily lives of Mexicans.

Dawning Awareness

Our first level awareness came about as friends and acquaintances told us about their experiences living and working in the U.S., or about family members who are working there now. It has to be said: NAFTANorth American Free Trade Agreement signed January 1, 1994—has had a devastating effect on Mexico, driving many Mexicans to leave their traditional lands and migrate north in search of work to support their families.

But there is more. A second level of awareness arrived more slowly, probably because we were reluctant to acknowledge it. In 2007 President Felipe Calderón launched Mexico's War on Drugs. Far from bringing social order, this federal initiative had the opposite effect. The unrest—or as our Mexican friends say, el desorden (the disorder)—arising from the activities of the drug cartels became more frequent and more alarming. In 2008 the United States and Mexico signed the first Letter of Agreement for the Mérida Initiative,
"...opening a chapter of historic cooperation and acknowledging the shared responsibilities of the United States and Mexico to counter drug-fueled violence threatening citizens on both sides of the border" (U.S. Diplomatic Mission to Mexico).
Our heightened awareness brought increasing discomfort with the prospect of enjoying the tranquility of our life in Pátzcuaro—good friends, beautiful natural environment, moderate climate—while the danger to our Mexican friends continued to increase steadily.

Ever-Broadening Horizons 

In the summer of 2009 Reed launched a blog reporting news about Mexico published in U.S. newspapers. His growing involvement with issues of democracy and the drug war led us to consider a move to Mexico City. Our intent was to use its central location to become more active and take advantage of this national transportation hub.

In August 2011 we moved to Coyoacán, Distrito Federal (Mexico City), where we remain committed to interweaving our lives with the culture and daily life of present-day Mexico. On the first day of spring, March 21, 2012, Reed launched the Mexico Voices blog, expressly focusing on the twin, interacting dynamics of Mexico’s struggle to build a functioning democracy under rule of law in the context of the U.S.-based drug war. Mexico Voices listens to—and translates—Mexican voices on this collision.

Jenny's Journal of Mexican Culture arose from our intent to share with our paisanos in the U.S. our experiences of daily life and travels in Mexico, which deepen our understanding of Mexico's history and multi-faceted culture. Jenny's Journal ... Online Magazine for the Culturally Curious.

Reed is an inveterate tour guide. From our years in New York City to our current residence in Mexico City, he takes great pleasure in introducing family and friends to the sights, sounds and history of these urban settings. Reed's Mexico City Ambles shares his walks, many with his Mexico City "mentor", Alejandro, around the neighborhoods of the city. The blog takes its inspiration from this statement by Octavio Paz: "I speak of the city. A novelty today, tomorrow a ruin from the past, buried and resurrected every day, that dreams us all, that all of us build and rebuild ...."

Deepening Awareness of Mother Earth

Each morning Jane scans several major Mexican newspapers looking for articles to send to Reed, who selects those to be translated and published in Mexico Voices. Obviously, I am exposed to more ideas and articles than I send.

Over time, I've become aware of my growing interest in and concern with coverage of Mexico's indigenous communities and their struggles to defend their hereditary lands from encroachment by transnational corporations (mining, power), by government (natural resources, such as water, wind, minerals) and by the cartels (illegal mining and logging, which leads to the deforestation that sets off a chain of devastating environmental consequences).

I've also become increasingly aware of the global struggle to protect the Earth's natural resources. Voices for Mother Earth is my committed response to this civilizational and planetary crisis. Voices for Mother Earth ... Calling Us to the Global Effort to Care for the Planet's Resources.

Family of Blogs

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