Title: The Guaymas Chronicles: La Mandadera
Author: Stuart, David E.
Publisher: University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque
Publication Date: 2003
Edition: First Edition
Book Condition: NF
D-j Condition: F
Comments: Pages are a little crooked.
Synopsis: This memoir of a young gringo’s assimilation into the exotic street life of a bustling port on Mexico’s Sea of Cortez is an eye-opening account of the area’s working-class life. After months of anthropological field work in late 1960s Ecuador, David Stuart returns to Guaymas with broken bones and a broken heart, finding comfort in the cafes and night-spots along the waterfront. There he reveals his failings to people whose lingua franca is the simple wisdom of listening and understanding. The loyal barmen and taxi drivers adopt him into their tight-knit circle, helping him ride out the devastation of betrayal by a woman who is carrying another man’s child. Dubbed El Guero (‘Whitey’) on the street, Stuart drifts into la movida, the Mexican world of hustlers, politicians, police officials, businessmen, and street urchins. In a 1970 Mexico where a USD500 bribe and a two-year wait might get you a telephone, he needs help. A headstrong shoeshine girl, Lupita, becomes his mandadera (messenger) and then his confidante and junior business partner, working her magic by bribing customs officials and making deals for tires, fans, blenders, and other fayuca (contraband).