photo by madison perrins

"The world is waiting for you."

Edgar establishes himself as a Couchsurfing maestro quickly. He hosts travellers anywhere from twice a month to every weekend during the summer. His dream of going to Europe and leaving Mexico for the first time will be realized next year when he graduates with a degree in Political Science. Walking around his neighborhood, heavily populated with tiendas, he casually mentions that his neighbor used to own a lion. He points and we look up to see a multi-level “cage” on a terraced roof that is full of large potted plants and reinforced with layers of chicken wire. Ambulances line the street on both sides because another neighbor owns a business of, well, ambulance driving.

Edgar’s pleasure of hosting so many travelers is clear, and he loves Guadalajara more than any other city in the world. On our last night he springs pulque, an agave-based alcohol, and grasshopper tacos on us at a hip restaurant in a plaza that’s bustling on a Sunday night. Early in the morning as we get ready to make the long haul to Mexico City, he gazes at the van and leans against the wall of his house as he quietly shares a thought with Parker and I that makes me stop and pause: “The world is waiting. The world is waiting for you.”