If your idea of a Mexican vacation is to remain shielded from the actual people and culture, then stay in your walled resort with bad Mariachi music and watered-down margaritas. BUT, if you want to learn, to explore, to experience the real Mexico, Claudia and Alberto offer a delightful experience.
We opted for the both market tour given by Alberto, and the cooking class by Claudia, and heartily recommend both. My wife and I were lucky enough to have them to ourselves on our visit, but no doubt it would have been as much fun with a group. Alberto met us exactly as arranged, and helped us navigate the narrow alleys of the open market, stopping to explain the layout of the mazes, the best bakery or butcher or carnitas (yum) available, and let us see through his critical eye, honed by years of local hotel restaurant work.
After a couple of hours of exploration, a feast for all the senses (why do we Americans try to mask a broad array of smells?), Alberto took us out of town by car to his home, a clean and humble house which he and Claudia built themselves. Claudia greeted us warmly, then put us to work. First we had to cut the requisite herbs from the garden, followed by chopping and cutting and slicing and mincing. It is amazing Claudia still has all her fingers, given the speed with which she wields a knife.
After preparing every last detail, we were treated to the object of our efforts with fresh corn tortillas, homemade salsa verde, and jugo de jamaica. Alberto walked us (we waddled) back to the main road where we caught the local bus (always a fun experience) back into Zihua.
Do yourselves a favor and experience some real Mexico!
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