The Guaymas Chronicles: La Mandadera

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University of New Mexico Press, 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 394 pages
5 Reviews
Stuart's memoir is an eye-opening celebration of working-class Mexico, seen from the inside, a brilliant examination of what Mexico means to an American and what America means to the extended family of Mexicans who surround and protect him.
After months of anthropology field work in Ecuador, Stuart returns to Guaymas with broken bones and a broken heart, finding comfort in the cafes and night spots along the waterfront.
Dubbed El Guero (Whitey) on the street, Stuart drifts into la movida, the world of hustlers, politicians, police officials, businessmen and street urchins who do the things to get around the obstacles in a society designed to benefit only a few.
But in a 1970 Mexico where a $500 bribe and a two-year wait might get you a telephone, he needs help. He meets a headstrong shoeshine girl and makes her his messenger, his mandadera. A scrawny 11 year-old orphan named Lupita, she is complicated, street-brilliant and utterly fascinating.
She becomes his confessor, confidante and junior business partner, working her magic on the street by bribing customs officials, making deals for tires, fans, blenders and other fayuca (contraband) unavailable at fair prices in Mexico. Meanwhile, Mexico provides its daily realities in full measure.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Daniel.Estes - LibraryThing

David Stuart's personal account of the time he spent in the Sonoran town of Guaymas would have remained relatively uneventful had he not met little Lupita, la mandadera. She is the story's emotional ... Read full review

Review: The Guaymas Chronicles: La Mandadera

User Review  - Derek - Goodreads

Great account of 1970s Guaymas. Makes me want to go back there. Read full review


Return to Sonora
Playas Primaverales
Two Hotels

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About the author (2003)

David E. Stuart is Associate Provost and Professor of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico.

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